It goes without saying (but apparently not without typing): relationships are hard. Being part of a healthy and supportive couple takes work, which doesn't sound very appealing (at times) and is anything but romantic but is so very worth the effort, I can assure you. If you're in a grown-ass relationship, where two people and their individualities are respected, you'll act a certain way and treat your partner a certain way and value your coupledom in a certain way. That definitely applies to arguing, as there are just some things all grown-ass couples do when they fight.
Sure, some may argue that healthy couples never fight, and that could very well be true for certain relationships, but if you've been around and have fallen in love and have consistently supported and shared a life with someone for any discernible amount of time, you're bound to (at the very least) disagree. No two people are the same, which means no two people are going to see eye-to-eye on every single solitary thing. My partner and I rarely argue, but that doesn't mean we don't argue. I love him enough to tell him when I think he's flat out, horribly wrong, which usually starts a debate or argument or fight that were both passionate about.
Which is why healthy and fair fighting habits are essential in any relationship, if you're to maintain a positive, long-lasting and fulfilling coupledom. So, if you do these nine things when you fight, I guarantee you, you'll be part of a grown-ass couple who sticks together, through thick, thin and all the seemingly endless arguments that are sure to come your way.
Give The Other An Opportunity To Speak
When your knee-deep in a fight, you (obviously) want to make sure your voice is heard. While it's important that you express yourself, it's arguably just as important that you provide your partner with the opportunity to do the same. A grown-ass couple will make sure that both people are given equal opportunity to get a word in, so one person isn't being barraged while the other controls the conversation.
Avoid Cutting One Another Off
Which is why a grown-ass couple isn't going to cut one another off. Okay, yes, this is much easier said than done. Tensions are high, emotions are probably pretty intense, and sometimes your brain works faster than the rest of your body and you jump the gun while the other person is still speaking. It's an understandable mistake; a common reaction to being involved in a passionate disagreement. However, even if and/or when one partner does inevitably cut the other off (accidentally or otherwise) they'll stop, apologize, and allow their counterpart to continue their thought, before starting theirs.
Refuse To Bring Up The Past
There is absolutely no reason to bring up a seemingly resolved issue during a new fight. Really, it's just fighting dirty and it's just changing the subject and it's just a tactic used to win an overall argument while simultaneously hurting your partner. If your partner has already apologized for a previous mishap, and you both have agreed to put it behind you, then behind you is where it should stay. Past mistakes have no part in current arguments, and refusing to let things go (or choosing to revisit certain issues when it benefits you) is a great way to turn a healthy relationship, into a toxic one.
Give One Another The Space They Ask For
Full disclosure: this was incredibly difficult for me to learn. I used to adhere to the age-old adage, "Never go to bed angry." I'd demand that my partner continue a conversation until I thought it was resolved, only to get in even larger, more destructive arguments. So honestly, when someone asks for space during an argument, you must give it to them. You can't force someone to talk to you; force someone to become more contentious; force someone to listen to something you feel you have to say immediately. When your partner tells you that they're starting to feel uncomfortable or exhausted or frustrated or all of the above, and ask you for some space, just give it to them. This will help make sure that things that shouldn't be said, aren't said, and that both partners are being respected. Sometimes, a cool down is exactly what the relationship doctor ordered.
"Pause" The Fight When Necessary
I'm sure this tactic wouldn't work for every couple, but it works for Marshall and Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and they're the ultimate #RelationshipGoals. It makes sense: just because you're in an argument about one thing, doesn't mean that other things (like dinner, plans for the weekend, what happened during your day at work, etc) don't need to be or should be discussed. Just because you're angry with one another now, doesn't mean that you have stopped loving one another. So when life pushes past your disagreement and takes over, let it. Don't hold onto the fact that you're fighting, but rather pause the argument so you can deal with whatever life has served you.
Keep Their Voices At A Manageable Tone
A grown-ass couple is going to refuse to yell or scream at one another, because they know it does absolutely no good. Raising your voice doesn't get your point across or change your argument or somehow make you magically right in the eyes of your partner; it just makes you sound mean and angry and out of control. It can be difficult not to end up speaking at a higher decibel during an argument, but both parties will watch their tone, and won't be afraid to keep one another honest and point out when one or both are being too loud.
Never Name Call
You're not five years old. You're not some ill-mannered kid on a playground, or a mean girl in some movie. You're an adult, and as an adult you'll know that there's absolutely no place for name calling in an argument, or honestly, anywhere at all. Just because you and your partner are fighting, doesn't mean they've changed into someone who doesn't deserve your respect. Name calling is dangerously close to (if not actually) verbal abuse, so save the names and be kind to one another. Can your partner be acting like a total ass? Oh sure, mine does and so do I. But that doesn't mean they are an ass, and it certainly doesn't mean you should call them one.
Try To Understand Where Their Partner Is Coming From
Anyone who is part of a grown-ass couple is going to take the time to look outside of themselves and attempt to understand where their partner is coming from. There are so many factors that shape our points of view: upbringing, environment, political stance, life decisions and life experiences. It all shapes who we are, how we view the world and what we think about that view. When you're arguing with your partner, it's probably beneficial to stop and think about their point of view. Perhaps they're arguing with you because they've experienced something differently than you have. Maybe they don't agree with you because they're upbringing looks nothing like yours. Sometimes, a little perspective can go a long way.
Agree To Disagree
And, of course, at the end of the day a grown-ass couple will have the ability to agree to disagree (if that's, in fact, an option). Being part of a couple doesn't mean you lose all sense of self or individuality, it just means that you've partnered with someone you're willing to go through life with. You don't always have to agree or see eye-to-eye and, honestly, I would argue that fostering and supporting different viewpoints within a relationship, makes a relationship stronger. Now, obviously, if one partner in the couple owes the other an apology, and that is what the entire argument circled around, get that apology! But if you're fighting about politics or a specific decision someone made or something that can be seen and viewed and experienced in vastly different ways, sometimes it's best to talk about it, discuss it, argue it and sure, even fight about it, only to let it go and decide that it's okay that two people don't reach the same destination.