I saw an interesting quote the other day. It said, “couples who don’t argue keep secrets”. Also, around the same time, there was a study published revealing that couples who argue have a longer relationship. I’m a fan of a good get it out in the open session. I am a passionate person so sometimes there are tears, but I think as a couple, it’s in these so-called arguments or what I like to rename heated discussions, where there growth is had. The issue becomes if you can learn to overcome these sometimes-challenging situations or if they go on being unproductive and toxic. The often scary and awkward conversations are a part of life and love. Bust just as we are not taught how to be in a relationship, we are also not taught how to have a healthy argument or heated conversation with our loved one.
If you are like me, I tend to have these heated discussions before bed. And it’s taken me a while to realise how wrong I have been getting it. Yes, even relationships experts don’t always get it right. I might be able to see from the outside in for everyone else, but it’s not as easy when you are in the inside looking out at your own life. So, normally it goes like this. I bring up a topic that gets things heated, we start to talk about it, I might get upset and then as my partner has normally been up since 5am and has to be up at 5am the next morning, wants to eventually wind things down and becomes nearly dismissive because he is tired and wants to go to bed whilst I want to keep going. I can get more wound up and more upset whilst he starts to go to bed. I might stay up thinking and stewing over things, getting a bad night sleep and only being in a worse mood the next day, feeling also like things are unfinished. Sound familiar?
But in the morning, as soon as he wakes, his arm comes over, he holds me tight and hugs me as though to say everything is ok. Sometimes we chat in the morning what I was trying to talk about the night before. And a long winded conversation then becomes a short and effective one, often with a resolution. After a while, I worked it out. It’s not that he is being dismissive at night when I try have these conversations, or not committed to our relationship, he is tired. And at a time when he is wanting to wind down after dinner and get ready for bed, I’m wanting to get into a deep and meaningful. But, the easier solutions are found in the morning.
For me, learning how to have a healthy heated discussion has meant learning at what time of the day to have them.
It’s the holidays and even though that word sounds like it should mean fun, we all know it comes with certain stressors on everyone. So I decided to put together my cheat sheet to having a healthy argument. Everyone is different, every couple is different and everyone will have things that work for them. But there are also certain tools, tips and tricks I can share to help you along the way.
If you want a copy, head to my FB page Dr Nikki Goldstein, press like and message me the words “cheat sheet” ( did you really think I was going to give it to you for nothing, lol)
Happy holidays and healthy heated conversations!