Q: My husband and I are having the most ridiculous arguments lately. I've noticed it becoming a "go-to" tactic for him and I'm not sure why, but it's really getting to me and wearing me down.
A: There's nothing wrong with occasional fights between partners.
However, relationship issues multiply when fighting becomes the the expected mode of communication. This familiar battling debilitates rather than promotes a couple's bond.
When two people become part of a couple, they need to be wary of using their spouse to discharge daily frustrations and life stressors, because that's often where a relationship suffers most.
I would speculate that you feel more comfortable taking out your frustrations on one another, rather than risking conflict with less familiar people. I get that it feels easier to do this with a loved one, but it just doesn't work.
Tips to quieting/navigating the battlefield:
An argument arises between you and your partner. Stop and ask whether the topic is relative to your relationship or outside forces.
Should this conversation happen now? Is your present state of mind conducive to a constructive conversation or are you too angry?
Do your viewpoints really differ, or are you arguing just to argue?
Are you really listening and actually hearing your partner's point of view?
In a partnership, there always exists some conflict. It can be very empowering to embrace the conflict and speak freely about it with your partner. Becoming a productive and conscientious arguer takes practice. Everyone has flaws, misspeaks and loses control of their emotions. Relationships are fertile soil for all of our personal internal struggles.
One of the most important lessons here is to veer away from blame, as it gets you nowhere. Work toward understanding your own limitations and vulnerabilities, only then can you learn where you need to grow.
As always please send your questions and comments to "Ask Noah" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a profitable and peaceful week,
This column originally appeared on TheStreet.com -- Dec. 7, 2012.
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