Conflict may not be the most enjoyable part of a relationship, but it can sometimes actually prove to be beneficial. Conflict allows both partners to bring up issues that may be interfering with the relationship so that changes can be made in order to solve the issues.
All relationships including long distance relationships will experience disagreements from time to time but it is how you and your partner handle them which will prove just how strong your bond is. Here is some helpful advice for how you and your long distance partner can resolve issues when you are fighting.
Arguing and Fighting with your Long Distance Relationship Partner
A relationship brings independent minds together which means you most certainly won’t agree on everything, and in fact it isn’t exactly healthy to always agree with each other. There are many times when we may be in the wrong and having a partner that is willing to challenge us and correct our way of thinking can help us grow as a person.
Sometimes neither of you will be right or wrong. There will be many times where there isn’t a clear correct answer. There are often many ways to do things and you and your partner must decide if arguing about an issue will really accomplish anything. If you both have differing ideas on how to tackle a task or situation and both ways lead to the same result, then it doesn’t really matter which partner’s option is chosen.
Overcoming obstacles is what makes a relationship stronger. Think of it like your body and exercise. Heading to the gym or keeping fit may not always be easy or fun, but it allows your muscles to grow stronger and keeps your body healthy. Without conflict or disagreements, our relationships would become stale. There is also a sense of accomplishment when you both manage conflict and it gives you the confidence that you will both be able to successfully work through the next problem that arises in your relationship.
Whenever an issue arises which you would like to discuss with your partner, it is important to give them some kind of notice that you want to talk about it. Your partner will most likely not react positively to a surprise attack and will more often than not feel they are forced into taking a defensive stance. By giving them advance notice you want to talk, it allows them to think about the issue with a clear mind where you can both then tackle the issue more effectively.
It is also important to keep in mind that neither you nor your partner is perfect, and you both will make mistakes along the way. A long distance relationship is often completely new territory for most people, so you’re both likely learning as you go. It is essential to the success of your relationship that you are both forgiving and don’t set your expectations for your partner at a level that is unrealistic or unachievable for most people.
You have to take the good with the bad with anything in life, and relationships are no exception. You can’t enjoy the sunshine without the occasional sunburn, but you can minimize the occurrences of pain by simply applying sunscreen, or in terms of a relationship, by continuing to communicate effectively. Nobody can be expected to be a mind reader, so communication is the only tool we have to gain insight into what our partner is feeling so we may be able to solve conflicts that may arise.
How to Deal with Fights in Long Distance Relationships
It’s easy to say that fighting never solves anything, but you and your partner will most certainly find yourselves in the middle of fights from time to time. It’s not always easy to control our emotions and things like being overstressed, hungry, or tired can all hinder our ability to think clearly. It is therefore important to make sure that when you do talk or communicate your feelings, you’re not in an emotional state. If fights do arise, it is important to remember that you are both on the same team, and your conflict with one another should not become a competition to see who can win. If you do this, you may find that you will both walk away having lost out in terms of harming your relationship.
Clear communication will allow you to avoid fights and help solve issues of conflict before they escalate into a full scale argument. It is important to bring up issues straight away so they don’t become worse or turn into resentment for your partner. With long distance relationships, it may be more difficult to find the right time to talk about issues, especially when you may be in completely different time zones. You will need to make an effort to let your partner know there is an issue you’d like to deal with and you can both decide on a time that works for you both.
The worst thing you can possibly do in any relationship is to give the other person the silent treatment. This is especially true for long distance relationships where verbal communication is often your only avenue. Silence only prolongs the conflict and it will only grow into more of a monster that will make solutions harder to reach. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to cool off a bit, but agree to revisit the disagreement or argument at a later time when you have both had a chance to think things over. You may in that time realize that you were indeed in the wrong, or you both may decide that the issue was silly to fight over in the first place.
Solving conflict in a long distance relationship can be a bit trickier in that it is much more difficult to know if your partner is really listening to you. Unless you’ve chosen to video chat, usual indicators like eye contact or seeing that your partner is not distracted aren’t always there to assure you that your partner is truly listening to what you have to say. Phone calls, texts, and emails don’t allow you to make eye contact with your partner nor can you see that their body language tells you they are ready to listen. It is so much easier to disengage from a conversation by simply pulling the phone away from your ear or walking away from your computer during a discussion with your long distance partner, whereas you can’t do that as easy when you’re fighting face to face.
When it comes to long distance relationships, it becomes more crucial to select the right words to convey the message you are trying to get across. The old rule of using “I” statements such as “I feel” and “I would like” as opposed to “you” statements will avoid you coming off as confrontational. Be aware of your tone of voice when talking on the phone and use punctuation and adverbs in your writings to each other to try and express your feelings as accurately as possible.
Sometimes sending an email may be an easier way to bring up a topic of concern with your partner, as you can get your point across without interruption and can carefully think about what you want to say and make edits before sending. Drafting up a letter and then sitting on it overnight is a wonderful idea in that it allows fresh emotions to settle down a bit. You have a chance to reread your email to see if it is rational and still accurately conveys what you want it to.
Whichever way you decide works best to discuss an argument with your partner, it is important for both parties to take responsibility for their actions and be open to changing their behavior or way of thinking. During a dispute with your partner, it is important to never attack them personally. Remember that this is the person you fell in love with and hopefully have true feelings for. That person still exists and it is good to remember that it is his or her actions that are to blame, not they themselves. If a person is genuinely an evil person or truly deserving of an obscene name, that may be difficult to change. If it is simply someone’s actions which are distasteful from time to time, this can be worked on.
Remember to stay on topic when engaging in an argument and refrain from bringing up past quarrels or history. This only adds unnecessary fuel to the fire and these issues should have been addressed and solved earlier. If you find that you are bringing up the past in present arguments, this is a sign that you both need to work on the way you solve your problems, as your current way is not proving to be effective. By staying away from using the past tense and focusing on the present and future, it shows you both want to solve the issue at hand and look towards your future together.
Fighting and Make-Up Sex in Long Distance Relationships
It is often said that fighting can lead to great make-up sex and for some couples this may indeed be a great way to celebrate overcoming a disagreement or argument. The problem arises when you don’t really confront and solve an argument and resort to make-up sex thinking it will somehow magically make you both forget about the problem you were having. Jumping into sex to avoid fully discussing a disagreement or thinking that a passionate love session is a satisfying replacement for apologizing to your partner can prove to be an unhealthy way to end fights.
The intense nature of make-up sex can often be misinterpreted as your partner being extra passionate or loving towards you when in fact it may be a way of expressing their fervent anger towards you. In extreme cases this can actually lead to overly rough or abusive sex that can be very damaging to your relationship. This is especially true when you haven’t really come to an agreement or solution and rush into sex with pent up aggression.
Even if the sex isn’t abusive and instead feels incredibly great and extra fanatical, it often doesn’t strengthen your bond with your partner and may actually leave you feeling a bit hollow or used. As the pleasure of the sex subsides, you realize you and your partner are still not seeing eye to eye, as you haven’t really tackled the issue that was plaguing your relationship.
Although sex definitely has the ability to blow your mind, what it can’t do is make you forget things that were done or said. If harsh words or actions occurred during an argument and they were neither addressed nor apologized for, they will most likely repeat themselves when your next conflict arises. In addition, resorting to sex to end an argument can become an addictive habit whereby you and your partner may simply get in heated debates simply for the sexual gratification that follows. Although this may sound like bliss to some, overtime it can lead to a breakdown in your relationship from continually being locked in combat with each other.
The other thing to keep in mind is that not all your make-up sex sessions are guaranteed to be hot and heavy. If things don’t go so well under the sheets after an argument, the added disappointment may prove to only add more fuel to your existing fight.
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