How to have an argument without ruining a relationship

I DON'T remember how the argument started but I do remember how it ended. I sped out of the driveway so mad I almost collided with the letterbox.

No-one likes to argue with their loved ones, but it's an important part of a healthy relationship.

As I drove away from the battlefield wounded, I remembered that for an argument to be constructive, we must approach it constructively.

Here are some constructive rules for any couples in heartbreak warfare.

Stay on subject: Avoid bringing up irrelevant events that happened months ago. Focus on the subject at hand and aim for resolution.

Talk in first person: Instead of saying: "you make me feel unappreciated" try saying "I feel unappreciated"

This slight change in words is far less convicting.

Act like an adult: Always respect and listen to your partner's opinion. Keep away from schoolyard tactics like name calling and cursing.

Don't make empty threats: Don't tell them you're going to leave them unless you intend to. You are only going to be called on your bluff.

Don't sleep on it: As my nan always said :"Go to bed angry - wake up tired and angry."

Sleeping on an argument doesn't help. It will simply leave you with the same feeling when you wake up.

Time out: Practice having time outs. When things get heated, it is hard to think straight. A short break can be a relief.

It is our loved ones that hurt us the most. They hurt us so deeply because it is their opinion we care about the most.

When I turned my car around that night I remembered we both wanted the same thing; to make things right for our relationship.

When you put that into perspective, you realise it's not two people opposing one another but two people fighting for the same thing.

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