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• All couples argue – fact. But Izzie Knolles reckons if done properly, it can actually be healthy for your relationship…

The most common things couples argue about are money, sex, work, children and housework – roughly in that order.
It’s important to remember that no relationship is without conflict, it’s only natural when two people come together as each of those persons has their own individual personality, feelings and opinions that eventually you are going to clash.
Maybe you’re mad because he’s so laid back that you have to tell him to do everything, maybe he’s mad because he doesn’t like being bossed around, there are plenty of potential causes of a fight.
However it’s not so much the arguing that is the problem, it’s couples who cannot resolve their disputes effectively with an outcome that is mutually agreeable, who hit troubled water.
Sometimes people find they’re fighting battles that have far more to do with the past than the present.
Feelings of rejection or betrayal in childhood can create sensitive areas that partners press without realising.
For example, a partner whose parent left suddenly in childhood may find themselves overreacting to a hastily arranged business trip, so bear this in mind and try not to use your partner’s weaknesses as weapons against them.
So how does a couple have a good bust up but resolve things amicably?
The first thing you need to do is ascertain what it is you are fighting about, sounds daft but so many couples can’t answer this when asked, or funnier still, say completely different things. So once the screaming is out of the way, try to agree on what it is you are disagreeing about.
The next major issue is to think about how you are feeling, a lot of arguments are had late at night and by the time you get to the talking stage you are physically and mentally drained. Here you need to mock make up, so you don’t go to sleep on an argument. Don’t carry on when you are not alert enough to deal with the emotional gravity of the situation, this will only lead to frustration, anger and an escalation out of all proportion. Agree on a time in the future when you will have no interruptions to sit and rationally discuss the points of dispute.
When your talking time comes, you need to know how to effectively communicate with your partner: give your side, listen to his and you should be able to reach a compromise. A healthy relationship has room for an open confrontation and constructive criticism. If the couple fights constructively, the arguing becomes less frequent, and communication becomes more effective. The relationship becomes a ground for personal growth.
Try these steps next time you have a big bust up:
1. Firstly, don’t blame, we are all responsible for our own actions, only we can chose to feel or do as we decide. Blaming someone else creates defensive behaviour which prohibits you moving forward successfully.
2. Start sentences with ‘I’ such as “I feel hurt when you say you’ll help me clean the house and you don’t” it’s much more constructive then assigning blame with “you’re so lazy and useless, I’m always cleaning up after you”
3. Listen. I don’t just mean wait until it’s your turn to speak, but really try and put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
4. Don’t push things too far by threatening to end your relationship. Lots of people do this to try and get a reaction from their partner as to how they feel about you, one day it could end in tears, so don’t push it.
Arguing can be worth the pain because of the joy of making up, but don’t let that be the reason that you argue, to get a reaffirmation of your love for each other.
Just remember: beneath the surface of an argument often lurks a much deeper issue, desperate to be let out and looked at.

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