Fighting in relationships is inevitable. You’re two different people with different thoughts and experiences, no matter how like-minded you may be.
But how we fight with our boyfriend or husband is also important. Arguments and tiffs can lead to greater closeness when carried out and resolved properly.
Women Feel the Need To Cry and Demand
Our emotions sometimes get the better of us. Women biologically experience their emotions differently than men do. The male brain’s amygdala works with brain regions that respond to outside-the-body sensors when processing emotion, including sight and motor action, whereas the female brain’s amygdala processes her emotions through the insular cortex and hypothalamus. These areas are directly connected to our heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, respiration, and hormone levels.
It’s difficult for us to control ourselves when fighting when both our feelings and our physiology are reacting. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. When arguing with our husband, we need to be more self-aware before trying to communicate what’s bothering us. Instead of becoming hysterical and falling into the cry and demand stereotype, we need to take a time out and really reflect on the situation.
Women process their emotions in areas of the brain directly connected to heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
My husband and I are both very passionate people. He often has to walk away to control his temper. Having survived abuse and neglect as a child, I don’t cry so much as bottle things up until I become an indecipherable mess. And when the cork pops, I shake all over and lose my sense of self. I often need to focus on my breathing and drink some water before I can regain my self-control. This works out for both of us because he can walk away for a few minutes while I meditate and hydrate.
Avoid Insults and Humiliation Tactics
Men care a lot about their pride. They also require support in a relationship. They need to know that their woman has their back no matter what ‒ and it’s hard to remember that when we’re in conflict ‒ but it's incredibly important to avoid humiliating him in an argument.
Personal attacks are not easily overcome. Insults and rehashing past issues won’t solve anything. If the issues of today are linked to past indiscretions, they can be brought up in a calm, respectful manner without making it seem like you’re just trying to win a fight instead of moving forward together.
It’s better to focus on the behavior you don't like, rather than attacking him as a person.
It’s better to focus on the behavior you don't like (as soon as it becomes a problem), rather than attacking him as a person. He needs to know that you respect him. That’s non-negotiable for most men. He should also show you respect and display his desire to resolve conflict as well.
Instead of approaching a fight as if you’re opponents entering a boxing ring throwing verbal punches, you have to focus on what you want the endgame to be. Do you really care about the issue, or do you just want to be right? Is he the one for you, or are you looking for an easy out?
It’s Easy To Get Your Way, but Most Women Don’t Understand
It’s not hard for women to get their way in a relationship. We’re more verbal by nature so we’re often the ones looking to work on issues, and though men don’t always like it, they value the benefits of having a woman nurture them.
If a situation or topic is approached properly, women can easily get what they want. But we have to be willing to understand our man’s needs and cater to them. If your spouse just lost his job, that’s clearly not the time to start riding him about the budget. Trying to have a deep emotional conversation while he’s watching sports is a classic mistake that will never produce happy results.
Women like to fix things. We want to work on our relationship and dive right in, but men need time to come to terms with what’s going on within reasonable boundaries.
In his 2019 Netflix special, Bill Burr joked about how his wife is always looking to help him with his issues, but that it sometimes feels like there’s always something wrong with him because the focus isn’t ever really on fixing her, just him. “If I’ve learned anything in five years of being married, it’s that we’re always working on me.”
You don’t want him to change who he is, just some of the things that are hard on you.
It was hilarious AND quite honest. (The best jokes usually are.) But the main point here is that women are always changing and trying to solve problems within relationships, whereas men, they like to build things and problem solve on a more physical/mathematical level.
Men don’t want to sit down and tell a woman what’s wrong with her. It’s just not common for them. If you keep that in mind when looking to fight effectively, you’ll be able to better communicate that you don’t want him to change who he is, just some of the things that are hard on you.
Offering to work on yourself is also a great way to get what you want. It’s part of compromise. You can’t stamp your foot and expect a man to kiss your toes just because you’re upset. You have to give in order to receive, and that is incredibly hard when facing relationship issues that may stem from no fault of your own.
Men care about the happiness of the women in their lives. If you exercise patience, self-control, and understanding he will recognize that. Relationships are not like fairy tales, you have to work to hold onto your happy ending. Even if your romance isn’t quite storybook worthy, your man still has the ability to move mountains for you. Just try and cut him a little slack when he’s having trouble figuring out the map.
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