I don’t think tbV and i are there yet, in fact i know we’re not. It’s definitely a work in progress and there is definitely progress because we are working on it. We argue a lot better (in terms of nicer, friendlier, love-lier) than we used to when we were going out, but we can do even better. But there are definitely some principles we can share from what we do take care to do.

A good place to start is remembering the ‘Love does not keep a record of wrongs’ from the last note – this is such a huge key to growing thriving relationships – this argument we are having now is not the time and place to bring up every other time she did that thing before and how she ‘always is this’ or ‘always does that’ or ‘never does that’ and so on. Learn to focus on the issue at hand and leave the past in the past (although if you learn to deal with issues now then there are no past unresolved issues to deal with)

Argue the argument – try and figure out what the difference is – often what the argument becomes about is not the underlying issue and sometimes you both need to take a step back and look at it and figure out first what the underlying issue is (is it a trust issue, is it about looks or acceptance, is it about being undermined etc etc) – don’t get personal (name-calling), don’t get overly loud (try and focus on the issue and on seeing both sides of it and don’t resort to raising your voice in the hope that the loudest argument wins).

It is difficult in the moment (especially when feelings have been hurt as they inevitably will be, and usually unintentionally) but try and stop for a second and really try and hear or figure out where the other person is coming from and whether what they are saying is valid or not. An argument can quickly become about who is right and who is wrong in terms of ‘winning the argument’ and not so much about actually seeing what is going on. Sometimes both people can be ‘right’ and it is just a matter of different perspectives and so seeing it from hers can help sort the whole thing out.

Try and keep a grip on the bigger picture. It is never fun when tvb and i argue but i always know that she loves me and this is not about that changing or having changed. She may not particularly like me in this moment of argument, but her love for me is solid. If i can start in my mind from that place and reaffirming to myself that i completely love her then it is easier to take the argument as a smaller thing that can only have smaller consequences.

Run towards each other. This is a tough one and may need to be learned – especially for some of you with bad/difficult family backgrounds where conflict was not done well. Because the temptation when conflict arises can often be to run away – either to withdraw which doesn’t help get to the bottom of the argument – or physically to leave, probably slamming a door or pushing out a huge sigh or a nasty barbed comment and going away. But that doesn’t solve anything. Sometimes within an argument there may be a time where it will be good for both of you to take a step back and maybe be alone and think and sort what’s going on internally and then come back together, but don’t let leaving be a response. As hard as it can be, try and force yourself to stay in the moment, stay with this person you love and try and figure it out together. You staying speaks loads about the love that is there between the two of you.

LISTEN to the other person. I don’t know about girls but i think guys are pretty good at formulating the answer to the argument being presented before it has been presented or during and so it is easy to miss what the person is actually saying or the underlying issue if you are not listening. Both to what is being said and what is being spoken by body language etc etc (sometimes your woman can say everything is okay but the body language tells you it is not and you need to be able to address that and aware of what is happening.) Some of you are used to not listening to your significant person when she gets upset or frustrated and you need to start training yourself to be better at that.

to continue on to the final part of this part just click here