Why a “just the facts” mentality will not work in arguments with your partner- part one

Arguments with your partner

There is an old adage that asks, “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy”?
Like many couples I have encountered, I have been guilty of engaging in many competitive conversations with my husband through the years. Those conversations have had a distinct culture around who is right and who is wrong about whatever topic of the day was relevant at the time.In retrospect, I may have felt better in the moment all of those times that I was right. However, now I realize that while sometimes I may be correct in what I am saying, maintaining that kind of “I am going to win this one” mentality is not helpful to the greater good of my relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. I still want to argue this way and sometimes find myself doing so. But now when I realize more quickly and do what I need to move the conversation in a more productive direction.
While people are competitive by nature, in the case of intimate and of other valuable relationships, winning is not the best goal. In fact, the need to be right can seriously undermine trust, intimacy and connection.
We all want to feel heard. We all want to have a say. But if most of our exchanges are about whose information is accurate and whose is not, we run a real risk of damaging our relationship.
For the purposes of these posts, I am going to talk about three different types of day to day disagreements. I will start from the least serious argument type and work up from there.
Logistical- These are exchanges which sometimes turn into arguments between couples that can be around their children’s activities- music lessons, sporting events, school activities etc. They can be about when family is coming into town. They can be about when and where dinners with friends will be.
Many times logistical conversations are about goings on outside of the relationship. They often involve a third party. The reason why logistical arguments may not be as serious is because the threat to the relationship or price tag tends to be low. However, even logistical arguments come with a catch.
If our demeanor is bossy or adversarial when entering into logistical conversations with our partner, more serious arguments such as historical and perceptual can occur.
Stayed tuned for the next post about historical and perceptual arguments.
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