The first thing I will point out is conflict is healthy. It is totally normal and needed for any relationship to function and grow.
However, constant anxiety, fighting and unhappiness are not healthy. Yes there will be seasons when there might be more arguing than normal, but there should always be a sense of underlying peace in your relationship.
If you find yourself biting your partners head off or always living on the defense, here are a few tips to get you to step out of the ring:
1. You don't ALWAYS have to be right
It's true. Healthy relationships are not about winning every fight, but instead trying to resolve any issues so that they don't happen again. This means not allowing your ego to get in the way of resolving conflict. Even if you know that you are in the right, it shouldn't be used as permission to belittle or emotionally manipulate your partner.
If you want your relationship to last, you need to throw out the score board and start eating humble pie. Relationships are successful when both partners decide to be teammates rather than opponents. They understand that who wins the fight is not nearly as important as resolving it. Conflict is healthy in any partnership, but it should never be used as an opportunity to state your status or pride over someone else.
2. Give up the 'silent treatment'
There is nothing more destructive, pointless and stupid than giving each other the silent treatment. Radio silence does not solve the issue, people. Most arguments in relationships occur because of a communication issue, so why would you cut all communication to resolve the problem?
It's true that not saying anything can help get the point across, especially for women as we tend to talk more than men. However, when we use silence as a punishment rather than a moment to process what we want to say, we aggravate the situation. Keeping mute when you really should be saying everything you feel and think is not going to bring progress.
We need to learn to talk without fear of being misjudged, rejected or unheard. Try and make it a rule that you both choose to talk rather than stay silent. Cultivate communicating with each other even when it's uncomfortable.
3. Choose your words
What you say has an incredible impact on a relationship. Your words can either build something up or tear something down. Choose your words carefully and learn to be aware of what you say so that you can start speaking life, peace and restoration into your partnership.
Constant negative and bitter words will only poison what you have and limit the potential of your relationship as well as your happiness.
It's easy to say something you don't actually mean in all the anger and emotion, but words are something we can never take back. Your words are usually a true representation of how you feel about your partner. If you are harbouring doubts, insecurities, or resentment, make sure you address these issues.
Try and be generous and kind in your language towards your significant other. Build them up with words of love and watch it be reciprocated.
4. Let stuff go
It's time to stop keeping a track record of every little thing that they get wrong. This isn't a game, don't keep score. Forgiveness also means not bringing up that past mistake or fault. It means choosing to let go and not focus on the pain. Sure it's hard to forget, but you can't keep bringing up their old mistakes for the rest of your life together.
Constantly bringing up past faults will only keep you and your relationship in the past instead of moving forward into a better future.
5. Learn to forgive quickly
Easier said than done, but it's a good habit to cultivate early on. Forgiving quickly doesn't mean you are ignoring the problems or you won't struggle to leave the past in the past. However, it is important to ensure progress and peace in your relationship.
No one is perfect and relationships are a process of growth and navigating through each other's differences. If you can teach yourselves to address issues from the start and forgive quickly, you will save so much time, energy, heartache and emotions.
6. Get enough sleep and exercise
This might seem a little random, but how many times have we snapped because we were tired or restless and had a build up of frustration? Exercise is not just an important habit for physical health, it is also a great way to clear the mind and sweat out any built up emotions.
It forces you to step away from your frustrations and focus on something else, often helping you put things back into perspective.
Sleep deprivation can turn you into a ticking time bomb, so it's important to recognise when you need to just stop and rest to save your sanity (and relationship).
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