Smart Woman: Healthy Arguing in Relationships

Published 02/22 2012 06:34PM

Updated 02/22 2012 07:40PM

We sometimes wish our relationships were as romantic as the ones in the movies but in real life, couples experience real conflict, the key it to learn to fight fair. 

"Conflict is just disagreement, and for two people to be in a relationship they have to disagree about some things, " said clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Crawford.

And when this happens it's important to follow some basic ground rules.  First of all, easy does it. If you bring up an area of disagreement, bring it up gently. Next, control your emotions, if the conflict does escalate, take a break and regroup later. Also remember to listen, try to avoid insults, and don't yell.

Dr. Crawford said, "I've never seen anyone get yelled into agreement, ever. It never happens." 

And don't forget to call your own fouls. Saying I'm sorry can go a long way in resolving a conflict. 

"I need to back up the lens and remember all the reasons I'm with this person. All their good qualities and all the things I respect and admire and appreciate. So it's about keeping perspective, that's really important," said Dr. Crawford.

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