19 Therapist Hacks – How To Stop Fighting With Your Partner (2021)

7 min read

In this guide, you’ll learn 19 ideas to help you to stop fighting with your partner.

These ideas are based on suggestions that therapists are likely to give to fighting couples. 

As an experienced life coach, I will regularly suggest these tips to help couples navigate conflict in a healthy way. 

So, let’s get started with my list.

Stop Fighting
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How Do I Stop Fighting With My Partner? 19 Therapist Hacks

— IMPORTANT —

For a relationship to become (or remain) healthy, both partners need to commit to minimising fighting. Although I only address you, the reader, in most of these tips, I highly recommend your significant other also reads and follows them.

1. Recognise That Fighting Isn’t Normal In A Healthy Relationship

Disagreements are normal in a healthy relationship. Aggression is not.

If your parents fought regularly or you were brought up by a single parent, you might not be aware of this.  

Maybe this happened to your partner, and that’s why they become so readily aggressive.

Either way, to stop aggressive disagreements in your relationship, you both first need to realise that they’re not normal or healthy.

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2. Pledge Not To Fight 

In a calm moment with your partner, pledge not to fight with each other. Essentially, this should mean you won’t become aggressive with your words or actions.

If one person breaks that agreement at any time, the other is encouraged to calmly say so. Neither party should continue to engage until you’re both calm again.

3. Understand Your Triggers

A good way to control your anger is to become familiar with what triggers it. 

Explore what sparked your rage during your last few fights. Often, you’ll notice a pattern.

By understanding your triggers, you’ll be in a much better place to address them before your anger gets out of control next time.   

If you also make time to know your partner’s triggers, you’re often going to gain a deeper understanding of why they lost their temper in the past. This may help you to develop more empathy in your relationship. What’s more, it’ll be easier to avoid triggering them again in the future.

4. Find Techniques To Control Your Temper 

There are a broad range of anger management techniques suggested by therapists. These include simple solutions such as taking deep breaths, counting backwards from 10 or making affirmations. 

Find one that is proven to work for you, and use it before your disagreement turns into a fight. 

5. Bring Up Your Greivances Early

To avoid conflict, you may think it’s better to avoid bringing up your greivances.

However, this will usually lead to your partner repeating the same behaviors without knowing they are upsetting you. 

When one supresses their greivances long enough, they can build up and lead to an explosion of anger later on. 

It’s much better to bring up whatever’s troubling you immediately. 

The following tips will address how to do so in an effective manner that won’t spark any anger or resentment within your partner.

6. Focus On The Action And How It Makes You Feel 

When bringing up a grievance like this, it puts the focus on you. This minimises the chances of your partner feeling attacked, which minimises the chances of them responding defensively.

If you phrase your grievance by putting the focus on them as a person (instead of their actions), they are most likely to respond by defending themselves. Now you’re in an argument. 

Notice the difference: 

“When you forget to take the trash out, it makes me feel really disrespected and taken for granted.”  

vs.

“You’re too lazy to take the trash out!”

Which one do you think is more likely to inspire someone to fix the problem?

7. Make Requests Instead Of Complaints 

This is a clearer and less aggressive method of suggesting a solution to your issues.  

“So, please can you take the trash out before I get home from work?” 

vs.

“So, stop leaving the trash waiting for me!”  

8. Empathise Before Solving The Problem

When your partner presents a problem, empathise before presenting solutions.

We all want to feel validated. We all want to feel like we’re cared for and understood. Sometimes this is more important than the problem itself.

So, before you do anything, make sure to make it clear that you appreciate why someone is upset.      

9. Seek To Understand Before Being Understood 

If you don’t know why someone is so upset, ask why.

If you successfully do this before presenting your point of view, you’ll be far less likely to get stressed or frustrated with your partner. 

10. Find A Healthy Activity To Release Stress

Stress builds throughout the day. If you don’t find a healthy way to release it, the smallest things could trigger you around your partner in the evening. Before you know it, you may feel the need to start a fight. That’s not right and it’s not fair. They’re not your emotional punching bag. 

So, if you have a mean boss or a stressful job, give yourself an hour to unwind alone after work.  There are plenty of things you can do to de-stress. Engage in a hobby, work out, soak in a hot bath, watch your favourite TV show.

When your partner understands why you need this time, they’re going to let you have it. Even better, engage with them in a stress-relieving experience. 

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11. Realise You’re Both Fighting For The Same Goal

When disagreements turn to fights, it’s usually because both partners are now competing to win against each other.

It’s far more effective to remember you both want the same thing. A happy relationship. 

When you remember this, you’ll usually see it’s far more effective to have a calm conversation, structured using the tips above.

If you always try to win a fight, even at the expense of your partner’s happiness, try to explore why you feel like you need to do this. Because it’s harming your relationship and could eventually cause you to part ways.

12. Evaluate What You May Have Done Wrong

This isn’t easy to do. Nobody likes accepting blame. But try to make a habit of evaluating what you may have done wrong, before you defend yourself.  

13. Don’t Be Too Stubborn To Apologize

Even if you think you had a perfectly good reason for doing what you did, it doesn’t hurt to apologize before doing so.

Being vulnerable enough to apologize will help to validate their emotions and to calm the situation. Remember, you’re both fighting for a happy relationship. 

14. Don’t Get Personal

If one has been made to feel attacked, they’ll usually strike back by making the argument personal. It’s a common tactic used by people who are losing an argument. 

You should never do this. It’s a great way to make a conflict more aggressive, but it’ll do nothing to help solve it.   

15. Focus On The Present Moment

Don’t bring up grievances that happened in the past. This is another common strategy used by people who always have to be right.   

Perhaps something your partner did a few years ago perfectly backs up your argument, but it does nothing to solve the issues you’re having right now. Focus on doing that. 

Bringing up past grievances will usually only serve to frustrate your partner, make them more determined to win (rather than compromise). 

16. Use A Time Out

The best way to solve a disagreement is logically. Emotion is the opposite of logic.

If either of you gets too emotional, allow yourself a break from the disagreement until both parties have calmed down.

17. Always Solve Your Disagreements Face-To-Face 

Argue face-to-face whenever possible. Failing that, call them. 

Never use text. 

Arguments that occur over text can easily be misinterpreted. And that might unneccesarily lead to hurt feelings. 

18. Confirm That You Love Them

A common strategy for delivering criticism is called the ‘feedback sandwich’. Essentially, you can sandwich your criticism in between two compliments.

This is one of the best ways to stop your partner from feeling attacked.

Imagine you say: “Honey, I love you to bits, but when you forget to take the trash out, it makes me feel really disrespected and taken for granted. So, please can you take the trash out before I get home from work? Then, I can spend some time with my gorgeous husband without feeling stressed.”

It’s hard to imagine anyone getting angry if you say something like that. 

Also, let your partner know you love them a lot outside of arguments. It’s actually incredibly  common for people to start a fight just because they feel unloved within their relationship. Although they keep finding ways to get angry, they might only be lashing out to see if you actually care about them. You can avoid this experience if you start sharing your feelings more often. 

19. Remember That Nobody’s Perfect 

When your partner does something to annoy you, it helps to remember that nobody’s perfect. Most probably, you’ve made mistakes in your relationships too.

If they fail to follow one of the tips in this guide, that’s also a good time to repeat this mantra. 

When one person becomes aggressive in an argument, it’s usually because the other did something unnecessary to spark that.

But instead of falling into that trap, try to recognise the ways they could have phrased their grievance better. Then, calmly empathise and explain how you wish they would have phrased their concern. 

Reading this article together will help you both to do this.  

Any More Questions About How To Stop Fighting In Your Relationships? 

I hope this article will allow you to resolve your relationship issues without the need for a fight. Print it or keep it saved in your bookmarks. 

If you can use these tips when sharing your feelings, you’re far more likely to avoid heated fights in your long term relationship. Hopefully, you spend many more happy years together!

If you’d like to ask a question regarding couples therapy or avoiding fights in your relationships, or you just want to let me know your thoughts on this article, you can do so in the comments section below. 

I’d love to hear from you.

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