How to stop arguing with your partner
Your problem: ‘We have the same argument constantly’
‘My husband and I have two children, we’re financially comfortable, I work three days a week as a sales executive and he owns a computer programming business. But we argue about the same issue constantly: I am always left with the household chores and the children and there is no time for me. When I ask if he could take on more duties, he shouts at me, arguing that he works long hours and deserves to relax. I hate confrontation so I end up pacifying him and nothing changes. My husband is used to a mum who did everything and he expects this of me, too. Generally, we are happy, but the underlying resentment I feel is growing. I don’t know how to resolve the situation without him getting angry.’ Julie, 37, Littlehampton
Don’t wait for him to ‘get it’, be the change your relationship needs and stop arguing with your partner all the time.
Change your own behaviour
You can’t expect someone to change their ways if you don’t make the move to change yours first. If you’re annoyed with your partner for always leaving you to do everything, then stop doing a couple of the things and see if that will make him start doing them instead. As long as you continue acting in the same way, he’s unlikely to change either.
Air your feelings calmly
Bickering will never get your problems resolved. Instead, arrange a quiet sit-down just the two of you where you both agree to hear the other one out. Make it a rule that you cannot talk over each other or raise your voice and you will both listen to what each other has to say.
Try marriage guidance counselling
If sitting down just the two of you to have an open conversation simply can’t happen without getting into a row, consider making an appointment with a marriage guidance counsellor. This doesn’t mean that your relationship is in extreme difficulty; often it just helps to have a third party in the room to prevent voices from being raised.
Flatter his ego
We all love being made to feel good so as much as it may grate on you to do so, rather than shouting at your partner for not helping you out around the house, try praising him for when he does do things for you instead. The flattery might make him likely to help you a little more often too.
Stop being so compliant
If you want changes to happen within your relationship you need to create the opportunities for them to arise. If you’re fed up of always being the one to cook dinner each night even though you both work full time jobs, then stop making it a couple of days a week – he’ll soon get the message.
Learn to negotiate
Chances are if your partner does things that annoy you, you probably irritate him from time to time too. No one likes being told that they’re annoying or that they should do things differently but in relationships we need to learn to accept slight criticism for it to work. So if you want your partner to cook dinner occasionally and he wants you to come home from work on time more often, set aside one day a week on which you will leave work earlier and he’ll cook dinner for you – then you’re both happy.
Make time for you
Being a wife and a mum can mean that you have little time left over for just being you. Try and set aside a couple of evenings a month to go out with your girlfriends or sign up for a weekly art or fitness class. Getting out of the house a little more to do your own thing could do wonders for your relationship too and it will certainly give you something new to talk about.