We all define arguing differently. For some people, any discussion with the smallest degree of conflict equals an argument. For others, a discussion is not an argument – that is a term reserved for name calling and vindictive “got you” comments.
If you and your partner are emotionally healthy people who are not perfect clones of each other, you can expect at least occasional disagreements. The more time you spend with someone, the more opportunities for wanting different things, or for unintentional hurts. So don’t define a relationship as healthy because you NEVER disagree… maybe one of you is afraid to tell the truth and is being avoidant, but mentally “checked out” long ago.
In fact, sometimes disagreements can escalate when a couple starts to reconnect. A partner who had pretty much given up starts to feel more hopeful but wants to get something (or several things) off his or her chest in order to feel safe again. This can be a very tricky stage to negotiate, and a third partner can be helpful in keeping the connection.
Are you and your partner arguing with name calling, or in a bid to win points? Do you let your emotions get the better or you? Do you say things you later regret?
One tip is to start by gathering information instead of being sure you are “right”. If you can start by saying something like, “I have something on my mind, and I’d like you to hear what you think about it. Maybe together we can understand better and both become more comfortable.”
Learning to argue well – so that it is not really an argument, but a productive discussion – is a skill that takes practice. As you build this skill, remember that sincerity and understanding can go a long way toward forgiveness.