In this article I will explain how to communicate effectively in your relationship, why men and women argue and how to improve your relationship by learning how to express difficult feelings.
Men and women have different emotional needs and desire different things from relationships. Read more about the differences between men and women here.
Both men and women try to give their partner the love and support they need, mistakenly believing that their partner has the same emotional needs as they do.
In order to make your partner feel loved, you need to learn how to support your partner in the way they want to be supported.
Arguments can damage your relationship
”Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is to find out who is right, and a discussion is to find out what is right”.- Unknown
When couples argue, their relationship suffers. On the other hand, suppressing your emotions to avoid arguing will damage your relationship.
The solution is to find the balance between these two by discussing the pros and cons of everything and negotiate a way out.
This is a hard task to achieve for most couples. Naturally, when you are emotionally involved with a person, you cannot objectively listen to their point of view without reacting to their negative feelings.
Why couples argue?
‘’We argue with our biology, and the result of that argument is civilization.’’- Charles Siebert
There are many reasons why couples argue. Most of the time couples argue about finances, responsibilities, values or decisions. However, the real reason why people argue is because they feel unloved.
In order to better understand how to avoid arguments with your partner, you need to be aware that men and women have different reasons why they feel unloved and argue.
When does a man argue?
- When he feels his partner wants to improve him by criticizing, rejecting or not accepting him
- When he feels put down by being told how he should do things
- When he is blamed for his partner’s unhappiness
- When he is not appreciated for the things he does for his partner
- When his partner doesn’t trust him to accomplish a task and she worries about everything it could go wrong
- When his partner pressures him to communicate anytime she desires and doesn’t respect his alone time
- When he feels rejected and mistrusted
- When his partner expects him to read her mind or she doesn’t say precisely the reason she is upset
When does a woman argue?
- When her partner dismisses, minimizes or ignores the importance of her requests
- When she feels she is at the bottom of his priorities or neglected
- When she is criticized and blamed for being upset, instead of being understood and supported
- When she feels unheard, pushed down or corrected when she expresses her point of view
- When she feels her partner doesn’t care for her feelings
- When her partner is judgmental and condescending
- When her partner is ignoring her questions and comments
- When her partner is explaining why she shouldn’t feel the way she does
- When her partner expects her to be more detached or less emotional
- When she feels unsafe, unprotected and not understood when she expresses her feelings
How to avoid arguing
‘’Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.’’-Andrew Wachter
Most of the times, couples don’t express and deal with their feelings straight away. These build up inside and later burst in unexpected ways.
In order to stop arguing, men need to learn to validate and understand women’s feelings. When he listens without interrupting or offering explanations for actions, women feel supported and the argument is less likely to escalate.
In order to stop arguing, women need to stop sending messages of disapproval and be more direct when they share their feelings. Instead of asking rhetorical questions, women should be specific about the reasons why they are upset. It is okay to disapprove with a man’s behavior as long as you still approve with who he is.
Arguments can be avoided and transformed into effective communication if we take into consideration our partner’s emotional needs and remember them when we are having an argument.
How to communicate effectively in relationships
‘’Communication works for those who work at it’’- John Powell
Difficult feelings are most often communicated in an unloving way. Frustration, sadness, anger or disappointment take over our loving and understanding feelings and create unthoughtful arguments.
Sometimes, feelings cannot be communicated in a loving way as negative emotions take over positive ones. In these times, the best way to communicate with your partner is through a letter.
When you write your feelings down you start realizing how unloving your words can sound and what impact your words can have on your partner.
By analyzing and reading your own feelings you automatically become more loving and considerate towards your partner. Moreover, when you write down your feelings, they lose their intensity and make space for positive feelings.
After completing the letter you might realize you don’t want to share it with your partner. Whether you share it or not, you will still benefit from writing your feelings down.
Tips for the letter: communicate the negative feelings you have at the beginning of the letter. Then as the negative feelings decrease, finish the letter expressing feelings of love.
Look deep within yourself
”We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”– Brene Brown
Your negative feelings and emotions are sometimes deep-rooted in your childhood or past experiences. In order to learn how to communicate effectively, you need understand your emotions and feelings. Read more about how to let go of negative emotions here.
In order to feel compassionate towards your partner’s negative feelings, you firstly need to be compassionate about your own negative feelings. When you heal yourself, you can respond more lovingly to your partner.
How to ask for support
“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”― Ziad K. Abdelnour
Both women and men find it difficult to ask for support when they are upset, angry or disappointed.
Women believe that men should know what support they need and when to offer it. They want to test their partner’s love by requiring him to anticipate and offer the support she needs.
This technique does not work with men. While women’s nature is to offer unconditional support, men only ask for support when they need it and give support when they are asked to do it. Otherwise, they just assume they are giving enough.
Both men and women are sometimes worried to ask for support as they might fear their partner will say ‘no’. Letting go of the fear of rejection can have positive effects on your relationship.
I hope this article helped you understand the reasons why men and women argue, what to do to avoid arguments and how to communicate difficult feelings to your partner. By understanding your feelings, being compassionate to yourself and your partner and learning how to ask for support from them, you can positively change your relationship.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.
All the best,
(Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)
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