My friend Vidya Anand is happily married and has a five-and-half-year-old son to complete her adorable family. But what satisfies her most about her life is the healthy arguments she claims to have with her husband every now and then. "Sometimes fighting is great," she says. "Whether a work place or a marriage, the people involved have unique personalities and will clash at some point. So when there is a disagreement it's better to speak out rather then keeping it to yourself."
Fighting and arguing with your loved one can be a wonderful source of excitement at times. There is, after all, the chance to make up soon after. I asked marriage counsellor Bindu Anand from Mumbai if fighting was indeed good for a relationship.
She told me that there are a few ways you can tell when arguments have started to corrode your relationship:
a. When your differences are all you can think about. You seem to have forgotten all his positive points.
b. When there is no scope for resolution. After a day or two of being angry, you want to talk it out and resolve the issues. But your relationship is at risk when this stage just does not seem to arrive.
c. When you know your basic values, personality and self esteem is being hampered.
Vidya adds, "But fights should not be based on egos. Once your ego comes into the scene, then you fight only to prove that your point is correct, which can end on a nasty note."
So how then can you make sure that you can disagree with your partner without jeopardising your relationship?
Believe it or not, there are rules to have a healthy and fair fight! Use these rules and more than having a healthy 'discussion' (yes, we don't call it 'fighting' anymore!), you can also develop healthy communication between you.
· Use bad language while fighting.
· Threaten to terminate your relationship, just for the sake of gaining an upper hand.
· Become judgmental about his character if it has nothing to do with the fight.
· Use force (hands, feet, vessels, mobile phones) to show power.
· Quote past experiences. Let bygones be bygones.
· React! Yes, reaction is an emotional process that could make the situation worse.
· Respond! A response is to find a solution to the problem. This can lead to creative handling of future problems.
· Fight when both of you are calm and composed.
· Fight in a place where you will not be disturbed. Make sure the kids or a third party are not around.
· Make sure that if he begins what he has to say, you allow him to end it. DO NOT interrupt him.
· Remember to express what you are feeling at that exact same moment. Don't hesitate to say it if you are feeling "sad", rather than "angry" at that point of time.
And when you have vented
Post fighting, both of you need your space to settle your emotions and get back together. Bindu suggests the following:
Doing something that is 'not you' can be bring relief to the tension in your fights. Surprise him, do something that you would usually never do. Get him flowers, candy, or say things to him that you would normally never say. (Nice things of course!)
Say sorry. If it was your fault and you know it, say sorry.
Celebrate! Once a resolution has been reached, celebrate the occasion. A candlelight dinner, great sex. In other words, be close to each other.
Last but not the least, FORGET about the issues that caused hurt. Rather, concentrate on the solutions that you have come up with.