Relationship problems: 'We always argue about the same things'

(12 ratings)
A couple having an argument
I love my husband dearly, but we always end up arguing about the same old things, money and how to discipline our kids. Surely it won't always be like this? Meg, Aberdeen

Dr Pam says

I have news for you, Meg, it could well "always be like this" unless you change the way you argue! Here are some tips for emotionally healthy arguing?

1. Record yourselves

Agree to tape record or video yourselves when arguing and play it back afterwards. Have a tape-recorder, dictaphone or camcorder ready and hit "record" when you feel tensions rising. It may sound odd, but believe me, it's the quickest way to realise how awful you both look and sound when you get into full flow!

2. Stick to a time limit

Use an egg timer and agree each of you has three minutes to put your case forward. Interruptions aren't allowed!

3. Avoid insults

Never shout things to each other that you can't take back and that won't be forgotten.

4. Steer clear of divorce

Never shout the D-word during an argument. Once the idea of divorce is on the table, you're on a slippery slope that could easily have been prevented. If you plant that idea, it's hard to get it out of each other's heads.

5. Stay sober

Don't drink and argue - alcohol-fuelled rows are far worse than sober ones.

6. Be objective

Really try to see each other's point of view. No one's ever 100% right. Slow things down, and say something like, "so you really feel X, Y, or Z when I do A, B, or C?"

7. Admit defeat

Finally, know when to let go of something. Is being "right" more important than forgetting about it and being happy?

If things really don't improve having tried these tips, you may want to contact Relate

What do you think Meg should do? Have your say in our comments section below

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