Whether you and your partner have been dating for two months or married for 20 years, conflicts are bound to pop up and can often leave us wondering what we’re fighting for. Just like the cliche (and book) that men are from Mars and women are from Venus says, us women are whole planets worth of different from our male counterparts–particularly in how we deal with arguments in our relationships.
First thing’s first. Is the conflict worth it? (sometimes it will be!) Girls can be sensitive (I’m Captain Sensitive), and sometimes that can cause unnecessary problems in relationships. While I would never suggest you not be yourself, for the sake of your sanity, when your partner offends or upsets you and you two are headed to Conflictville because of it, check yourself. Ask yourself things like, “What were his intentions?” “Was he trying to hurt me?” “In the grand scheme of life, does this really matter?” “Will I care about this in 20 minutes?” More often than not you’ll find that you realize your partner in no way meant to hurt your feelings and you’ll avoid the conflict altogether–and probably some tears.
As women, our natural instinct after conflict is to talk..and talk and talk immediately until the problem is resolved. When our man seems uninterested or is still angry, the fight usually escalates. Guys, while there’s all sorts of quips and running jokes about how women are complicated and men can live their whole lives with the same woman and still not understand her, let me let you in on a little secret: Even the most high maintenance of us (that would be me) are really easy to please. Beyond just wanting to hear we are right so not disagreement occurs at all (try it, it works wonders), most women just want to be heard and acknowledged. I want to know my husband cares that we’ve had a spat. I want him to listen (not hear) to my side and acknowledge why I got upset in the first place. If you’re mad, guys, this doesn’t have to happen right away, but I can almost guarantee that if she feels listened to and her feelings are acknowledged, not only will the fight be squashed, but you may even get a little make-up nookie out of it.