How to fight right to keep your relationship alive

Latinas can be pretty passionate people. I know because I am definitely one of those that has no shame about fighting with my man. In fact, I have one ex boyfriend who used to tell me that I am just like the joke that George Lopez said on his show about his Cuban wife. I have exactly two levels: loud and louder. And you can bet your ass that the Louder Irina came out whenever we had a fight. In fact, the minute the fight would start, I was already screaming. Needless to say, that relationship didn't last and, since then, I've learned that there is a better way to fight. Since fighting in a relationship is completely normal, it's important to learn how to fight right--and how it can help you keep your relationship alive.


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According to psychologist Xavier Amador, PhD, author of I'm Right, You're Wrong, Now What?, "it takes emotional intelligence to take the anger out of an issue and talk about it productively." Talking about something that we're mad about WITHOUT getting mad is definitely not a skill that I learned growing up, and I don't think a lot of people have either. But there definitely are ways to learn and develop it now. 

First of all, when you see yourself heading into an argument, take a moment to collect yourself. If your man says something to you that is hurtful and blaming (such as, "you never listen!), our first instinct is to defend ourselves. However, that might only end up making the fight even bigger, so first take a deep breath and instead focus on responding with something calmer that lets him know that you are willing and able to listen calmly and rationally.

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Another tip that a friend once told me is to focus on "I" statements instead of laying the blame. For instance, saying something like "I feel that I am left with an unfair share of the housework, such as dishes" instead of "You don't do any chores!". This way, your man doesn't feel like you're attacking and is more likely to listen and discuss the situation. 

Most importantly, try to get to the bottom of the problem. Is the issue really that he was late for dinner or are do you wish that he would put a higher priority on your time together? Also, make sure to ask questions to get details from him, such as "When did you first notice this?" and "What would you like me to do next time?"

Trust me, it's definitely not a BAD thing that you fight (it can certainly be great for make-up sex) but there's a way to do it so that your relationship only gets stronger. And don't we all want that in the end?

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Topics: dating  divorce  men  marriage