Arguments come with the package of a relationship. However, most of them can be avoided by presenting the solution to the problem instead of the problem itself.
Picture: le vent le cri/Flickr
Many relationships end because couples just can’t find a way to get along and solve problems constructively. You can stop the fighting before it starts by offering the solution first. This limits the likelihood of blame and nagging, and ensures that at the onset of the conversation you and your partner are instead focused on making things better, not being defensive and making the situation worse.
Here are some examples of solution-oriented ways to approach common problems:
Problem-based: “You never pay for anything when we go out, and the bill always lands on me. That’s why I don’t want to go out all the time anymore.”
Solution-based: “Hey, what if we start splitting the bill whenever we go out? I think doing that would make it easier for us to have a better social life together.”
Problem-based: “You want too much of my time. I deserve a night with my friends.”
Solution-based: “What if you and I have a date night every week, and we also get a night with our friends every week?”
Problem-based: “You don’t pull your weight with chores. I always have to do everything around the house!”
Solution-based: “What do you think about a chore list so we can make sure we’re both doing a fair share?”
If your partner knows you well, he or she will understand that you’re asking for something you’re not getting, which may hurt their feelings nonetheless. You avoiding blame and staying positive will still take you far in these situations because your partner won’t feel attacked.
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