couple arguing while sitting on couch

Communication Tips for Couples in a Disagreement

Table of Contents

Arguments are largely uncomfortable for couples and can take days to resolve due to poor communication tactics. Learning how to disagree and argue in a healthy way doesn’t always come naturally, but this doesn’t mean it is an impossible feat. By using a few of these simple tactics below during your next disagreement, you’ll leave the conversation feeling hopeful and reassured about your next steps.

Use Active Listening Techniques

If you are in the middle of an argument, or even just discussing a difficult topic, it is easy to get distracted and not fully listen to your partner. Active listening includes showing your partner you’re paying attention to them. Do not interrupt your partner when they are speaking, even if you feel the need to correct a statement they made. Allow them to make their point and then restate any comments you may need clarity on. Fully engaging with a conversation isn’t about waiting for your partner to finish speaking so you can retort. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give them the opportunity to fully express themselves. In turn, they will be more apt to do the same for you.

Remain Calm

You’ve gotten comfortable with your partner over time, and this comfort can feel like permission to spew a string of thoughtless remarks or yell angrily. It is important to stay calm during conversations or disagreements. Once the conversation accelerates to anger and insults, it’s hard to productively cool things down and come to a real resolution. If you feel like the conversation is headed toward an unhealthy place, let your partner know you’d like to get some space from the conversation and make a plan to return to the topic. The goal is to respect each other and to understand each other, not compete with one another.

Leave Room For Appreciation

As a couple, it is possible to argue and disagree in a healthy manner. Healthy disagreements include reassurance, adoration, and appreciation. Though you may be focused on telling your partner all the things you’d like them to change or fix, it can be productive to let them know what you like as well. For example, instead of saying, “I hate when you leave hair in the sink after shaving”, you can say, “I love the way you take care of yourself every day, but it would make me more comfortable if you could remove the hair from the sink once you are done shaving.” It can make a world of a difference for your partner to hear about the things you like while addressing the things you aren’t particularly fond of.

Validate Your Partner’s Feelings

We communicate with each other to be understood, and often, we tend to make that the central goal of the conversation. When communicating, one of your central goals should be understanding and validating your partner’s feelings. Criticism can be painful, and it is normal for your initial reaction to be rejecting your partner’s statements or immediately bringing up their wrongdoings. Practice redirecting your thinking during these times and instead, trust that what your partner is feeling is just as honest and valid as what you’re feeling. Vocally validate their feelings too so they know you believe what they are saying.

Embrace or Physically Engage with One Another

Arguments lead to feelings of disconnection with your partner, and it is crucial to restore this connection even in the middle of a disagreement. Physical touch is a powerful soothing technique and is a great way to bring a couple together during times of strife. With permission, try holding your partner’s hand, stroking their hair, or giving them a hug. Asking for consent to do so during an argument is incredibly important though, as unwanted physical touch can lead to further misunderstanding or anger.

Looking for Communication Assistance? Reach out to Cristeta Rillera Today!

If you and your partner have found it difficult to navigate heavy topics or arguments, couples therapy with Cristeta Rillera can offer significant solutions to your most pressing problems. Cristeta is here to help you map out pathways to success in your relationship, enhancing your communication skills and strengthening your partnership with each session. For a free consultation, call Cristeta today at (530) 302-6097 or fill out the contact form for additional assistance.

person sitting during therapy session
Cristeta Rillera, LMFT


Book an appointment today!