Arguing Too Much?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My boyfriend and I have been together for about 5 months, and it seems as if we argue all the time. At first it was just once or twice a week, but now it is almost every day. The arguments are about stupid things, like chores, or one of us accidentally ignoring the other, but we each tend to hold grudges and be short tempered about the disagreements for a couple days after.

Is this normal? It doesn't seem possible for a relationship to survive if we argue, even just once a week, and then spend more days stewing.

Can this relationship continue, or is it time to admit defeat? Advice
Learning how to deal with conflict is something that every couple has to build skills in. So definitely you're not alone here. It's great that you realize there is a problem, and are looking for ways to solve it.

The first thing to do is to talk about the situation. Let him know that you're going to look for ways to make the household more calm. Hopefully he'll think this is a great idea! That way he knows to be aware that you might be acting differently, and why.

Then, when you sense tensions rising, just stop. Step away. Count to ten. Breathe in deeply. Go for a walk. There's never a reason something HAS to be said. There is always the option to say nothing. Then once you are both calm again, come back to discuss the issue more quietly. If tensions raise again, then again calm down. There needs to be a way to discuss whatever the issue is in a way that both expresses your feelings and also does not rile things up.

Instead of saying "You must ..." try saying "It upsets me when I see ..." - phrase things to help explain what is going on inside you. Then ask what is going on inside him.

Life is too short to hold grudges. You waste valuable days with negative emotions, for no important reason at all. When you make up, let the issue go. Remember what you love about each other. If your love is strong, then that is the most important thing. Temporary hiccups are nothing against a strong love.

-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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