There is no such thing as a 'perfect couple' or 'perfect relationship'. It is only normal to have fights and arguments every now and then, up to a limit, and as long as later on there are no hard feelings, and everyone is happy with the solution. Here are 8 things to consider when there’s an argument with your partner:
1. Learn how to argue. The trick is to never say anything that you wouldn’t want to hear said to you.
2. Research suggests you need five positive experiences to erase the memory of one negative experience. So give five kind words for each negative comment. Give five hugs for each cold shoulder.
3. Learn how to negotiate. Each of you should say what they want to let everything that’s bothering you out. But then both of you work together to find a way forward.
4. Accept the things that won’t change. Some characteristics about your partner are there for life–you decide whether to accept them or not.
5. Learn to forgive. If you know you will never forgive your partner over something important, then give him–and yourself–a break and start again, with someone else.
6. Realize that the two of you will change over the years. So, even if you think you understand him, or believe you have agreements sorted, check regularly – at least once a year–to make sure that neither of you has changed your mind.
7. Know when to leave. If your life aims are incompatible, there are unacceptable elements like drugs or violence, or if there is consistently more pain than pleasure, then walk before the relationship destroys you.
8. Don’t think that going to counseling equals failure. It can turn a bad relationship around. And it can turn an average relationship into a brilliant one.