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Dealing With Arguments That Wreck Relationships

Forward this on to anyone you know who is in a relationship and could use a pick me up.

We’ve had so many emails in recently from people asking me to do a few videos for people in relationships.

If you’re seeing a guy or you’re in a relationship right now, I want to share something that can make your relationship even more special.

Today’s tip revolves around arguments…

Arguments are always seen as negative, and people often assume that in the early stages of a relationship arguments are a sign of things coming to an end.

Let’s imagine for a second that you’re with your guy and the two of you start arguing.

Immediately emotion comes in that says, “I need to win this argument”. This might be caused by pride, stubbornness and insecurity, and today I want to make sure that we argue from a more mature place (I’ve been guilty of this wanting to ‘win’ myself, which is why I know the topic so well!).

Remember that there’s a difference between winning in an argument, and winning in a relationship.

I want to make sure that you win in the relationship.

The argument is just a battle; the relationship is the war.

Next time you’re in an argument, there are two words that I want you to remember:

I Understand

Sounds obvious – the key to relationships is understanding. But it’s true. When you get to the head of an argument, showing that you understand someone is THE KEY.

You might not agree with someone’s reaction to a situation, but you can acknowledge where their feelings have come from that have lead to their reaction.

Imagine that you’ve done something that’s caused him to feel jealous and to come over and shout at you. You’re annoyed because you feel like he had no right to start shouting at you.

Now, you can disagree with his reaction to shout at you, but try to understand and acknowledge the feeling that the shouting came from.

When you’re empathetic and understand the feeling, people will very often show that they’re sorry and you’ll diffuse an argument.

I want to make our default response to someone’s anger to try and figure out why someone is feeling a certain way before you retaliate. Going on the attack is where you can do serious damage to a relationship.

You’re a team, you want to help each other, and the easiest way to do that is to show that you understand.

Question of the day

I read an article on the Huffington Post recently that couples that argue once a week stand a better chance of staying together. Do you agree with this? Can arguments be a good thing?

Let me know in the comments below. I read every single one, and I’m going to do my best to reply.

See you soon!


Want more like this?

In my programme The Man Myth I have a whole module dedicated to the male mind. In it you will learn a better way of dealing with jealousy, the kind of game playing that destroys relationships, and how to ‘pre-frame’ a guy’s behaviour before you even get into a relationship. Click here to learn more.

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126 Replies to “Dealing With Arguments That Wreck Relationships”

  • I do agree in the fact that healthy discussions are good but, there are times were you know ‘matter of factly’ you are the person which is right and your partner (even though you’re acting calm and being ‘understanding’ of the way they’re seeing the situation) still act out of line. I’m the kind of person that when I know 99.99% I’m right (whether a business or love relationship situation) I won’t yield, just because I know that down that road, if I don’t stand my ground greater repercussions will come from that. So I personally believe it’s a matter of both persons being grown mature understanding individuals who need to get ALL OF THE FACTS together before bursting out. If I’m a relationship were I constantly feel like I need to ‘yield’ or be the bigger person, then I just opt out. I just feel like being, as natural I think, with like minded ‘mature’ men, not boys :)

    1. It’s definitely draining being the one to yield all the time. Just as we have to be understanding, we also want to find a partner who has that as one of their core values too.

      Thanks Gini,

      Matt x

  • I think it all depends on the arguments. Sometimes not arguing at all is a good thing … it means you see eye to eye. Sometimes not arguing is the kiss of death … it means there aren’t strong emotions in the relationship. Why are you arguing? Why aren’t you arguing? The why is more important than the fact of arguing or not arguing.

    I’ve been in a relationship with a great guy for a month now and we don’t argue. We get annoyed with each other once in awhile. We’ve had misunderstandings. But nothing I would categorize as an argument. And I like that … especially since I recently got out of an abusive marriage where I was being yelled at daily.

    If the arguments lead to growth and getting closer, then by all means bring them on. If they lead to pushing each other away and increasing the distance, it either means you need to leave the relationship or fix it.

  • Hello Matthew!!
    Amazing topic I must say! Arguments are essential to a relationship to a certain extent, but i disagree with the last question, “Can arguments once a week make a a relationship last longer?”. In my experience, No. Having an argument discourages me and emotionally drains a person. I know this to be true because that’s exactly what I’m going through now. I guess it all comes down to how people have arguments. It’s always good to really listen and truly understand your partners feelings and acknowledge them in a disagreement. Taking it to another level is no excuse.

  • I totally agree– but need to make a distinction here. There is a difference between an argument and a learning conversation. Learning conversations are helpful and improve situations, arguments do not.

    I have to say that I just finished reading an entire book on this subject, which is one of the most helpful and non-b.s., realistic “self-improvement” books I’ve ever read; and I’ve read quite a few.

    I deeply encourage you to pick it up and start reading, just to see what it is about. Honestly, you could use most of it in your relationship advice blogs.

    It is called “Difficult Conversations– How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen, and Bruce Patton

  • Hy everyone!
    I am a pretty argumentative person, but i dont like to feel that things go out of hand…so for me a good “spicy” talk is normal, i like to see all sides and all perspectives that one can have, that keeps me interested But i dont like to feel we are at “war”. Always with respect to one another.

    I can see where it can be some “truth” about arguments, i feel secure having someone on my side that has the ability to have strong believes and personality but also the maturity to recognize emotions and acts. Showing love and caring in times of distress makes me feel more human, if it touches emotions it can lead us to deeper conversations that really can change how you see the other person, so yes it can be positive. I have grown a lot by having strong people around me. My first relationship turned into friendship because he agreed with everything i said, and was too understanding. That drived me crazyyyy !
    We have to keep it real!

  • Loved the topic today!!!!! In my experience aguements in a relationship aren’t really that bad. I’ve been married for four years an with my husband for 7 years and we do are fair share of arguing. Not once a week but at least once a month or so and even tho it’s a day long process at the end of it we come out happier and more comforted that our points were made clear and we have revised the things that made us so heated to begin with. Although the process of arguing is messy in the long run it helps strengthen our relationship.

  • I agree with Carma Spence who said it’s more important to know why you’re arguing or not. I’ve been in a relationship for almost 8 years and we don’t argue that much, mainly because we’re very compatible in so many levels it makes living together very easily. But of course we do argue sometimes. One thing we don’t do is shout. We both feel that raising your voice doesn’t improve your argument. I do feel sometimes I’m too blunt and hurt his feelings to the point he just shuts down entirely for a moment. I don’t do that unless I feel very strongly about the point I’m trying to make, but I need to improve that.

    1. Thanks for commenting Dionea! Being blunt is a great skill to have but can be damaging at the same time. Peoples egos are often fragile and you have to nurture the egos of the people you love. However, I think the fact that you can be direct is not something you should lose!


  • In my past experience with arguments. That I found worked was to listening and try to understand how or where the person is coming from. I also try to explain to the person how I felt or what I was thinking. Usually this seemed to work. I found that it’s easier for me to get over an argument when I don’t sit and rethink it over and over again. Also sometimes I need a break from a heated conversation then come back talk it over. When I have done this I tend to be a lot more understanding about it.

    In my personal point of view. I think it’s healthy to have disagreements every once in while because they make you closer and stronger in the relationship but on weekly basis I don’t think that’s healthy really.

    From personal experience I know both situations. My marriage had always seemed to be fairly healthy or so it seemed. We hardly argued with each other we wouldn’t have arguments only little disputes about little things. Later on before our marriage ended we were arguing weekly. It be came very depressing. So This why I don’t agree that weekly arguments are healthy.

    1. Lol, that advice was simple, where were you when I needed it? Kidding… sort of…lol… I can always use it. It’s behind me now…

  • In my relationship, my bf got mad that I was busy doing an overnight tv shoot, even though I told him before hand what I was doing. He didn’t tell me exactly what made him angry, so I couldn’t say that I understood why he was mad, I just acknowledged the fact that he got upset. I tried to understand why he got mad, but he wouldn’t tell me the reason and started yelling at me that I’ve lost his trust, and continued to tell me that I’m immature and an idiot, after which he ignored me. I gave him some space, apologized for making him angry, and asked him to text me when he was ready. When he did, he said that I was selfish and only thought of myself. Which confuses me because he didn’t oppose to my filming. So he didn’t exactly explain what made him mad, and I have no idea what to do because I know he’s going to want to break up, (even though during the past week he asked me to move in with him.) What do I do? I’m so confused and I feel wrongly accused of being called selfish and immature and an idiot. Help!

    1. Three words come to mind, Tatyana: you deserve better. He said he no longer trusts you. Moving in with him won’t change that. If he’s putting you down this way and ignoring you and leaving you feeling so confused, why would it be a bad thing for the relationship to end? I know you care about him and don’t want to hurt him. It’s hard to let go. BUT: You deserve better. You deserve someone who will trust you, someone who will try to communicate in a way that is meaningful, someone who values you as an individual and will treat you with kindness and sincerity. It doesn’t sound as though that’s happening in your current relationship. Again, you deserve better.

    2. If he wont explain to you why he is angry with you and just shout names then he is not good for you, sorry to say. That’s psychological abuse. If he doesn’t turn around and act mature I suggest you to leave him. As said in the previous reply, you deserve better than that.

  • Arguments are not really a grest thing especailly if children are involved in the relationship and are witnessing it. However, we are all human and make mistakes so I guess to some extent some disagreements are inevitable, in such a close relationship. I guess in some ways it shows a fiestiness and that you actually care about the other person. Apathy is a relationship killer; I guess to argue shows you think something of the other persons opinion or you would just leave or not be bothered?

    1. Yeh apathy is a problem, and can be even more detrimental to children than watching parents argue. What they need to see is two people who are committed to working together, even if there are disagreements along the way.

      Thanks for commenting x

  • We have to remember there’s a huge difference in arguing and fighting. It’s so important to choose our words wisely!! Once things are said they can never be taken back. As human beings we are never going to agree on everything and that is ok but it is important to discuss our feelings in a mature way. I also feel everyone has their own definition of what an argument is. If things are getting heated then no I don’t think it’s healthy. Relationships are far from perfect but remember Love is patient Love is kind it is not self seeking and not quick to anger. If you make a strong effort to work on these things constantly you will see such a great difference in your relationship.
    With that said I am so excited for LA 2/16 :)

    1. Yeh it’s important to avoid saying things that damage the relationship for the sake of it. Always think twice before you say something hurtful to the person you love.

      Thanks Jill!


  • In theory, I think that arguments would be a positive thing because if people would keep things inside themselves and keep on bottling it up, then there would probably eventually be one BIG argument that can really damage the relationship. Personally, I’ve never really had an argument, but my boyfriend and I would discuss something if it would bother us right away (or as soon as possible). However, I was wondering, is it normal for a couple to never have an argument? I’ve never had an argument in a relationship; only discussions really.

  • 100% disagree, my most recent ex and i were together for almost 6 years, it was a beautiful relationship, and we had only 2 fights in those 6 years. i think, and i’ve proved that when both parts try to really understand each other, there can’t be an argument.

    however it’s very hard to carry on with the “i understad” all alone, if there’s no commitment to understanding there will be a fight, sooner or later.

    i believe that, at some point, once you start fighting once a week as you said, you begin to associate the person with a bitter time.

    to sum up, i believe that the argument of the “healthy-regular-fight” is rather stupid. have sex instead, it releases all tensions :)

  • I reckon it’s pretty equal on both sides, depending on our negativity or positivity. Arguing would help us understand our partner more, understand their feelings and understand their way of reacting; hence, getting to know them further and being able to connect more.

    On the other side, arguments can definitely break a relationship– due to pride, selfishness— all that. That’s how my parents separated, they both didn’t bother to understand what the other is saying, they wanted to get their point across, to show that they’re the ‘right’ one, the ‘unjustified’. It would happen almost everyday and it doesn’t get any better. It all leads to shouting, and fighting and more of this so called ‘pride’.

    Well, there goes my thoughts.


  • last week i had an urguement with ma man and we realised we had a big problem wit resolving our misunderstanding…since then we talked on a way to working it out,so at times its a good thing.

  • I think it is perfectly healthy to have disagreements and arguments, as long as they are dealt with rationally and both people are willing to compromise and admit it if they are wrong. However, I also feel that it is possible to have a very strong relationship without arguing regularly. The absence of a ‘weekly argument’ should be because both partners are continually communicating and coming to mutally acceptably solutions, rather than simply holding back when they have an opposing opinion.

  • I agree and I disagree. I haven’t really had a proper relationship before, however if you’re all lovey dovey all the time and don’t say your opinions then it’s just going to build up in both people and eventually they’ll be one big explosion of annoyance/anger and the relationship could end. I don’t think you should argue every week but an argument every now and again is surely healthy because you’re understanding what annoys each other and know what needs fixing in the relationship….that’s my opinion anyway :) xx

    1. Hi Matthew :D

      I think having arguments in the start of a relationship is a good Thing because you can talk it out with eachother and than you know eachother better i think ;)
      Because if you have later problems it’s harder to talk it out with eachother because you have kids you are married it depends on any situation i think.
      But and Maybe work comes within and sometimes you Dont have time to talk it out and in a start of a relationship you can see if it works beteren you and eachother.
      It’s better to talk it out first than you never did before.
      I see it with my parents now they gonna divorce Maybe but we dont know how i turns out they are on relationtherapt now. But i’m. Gonna stay strong whatever happens.

      Thanks Matthew you are the best man in the whole wide world That i could wish for. <3 lovely Greetz Thirza A15 YEAR old girl from the Netherlands ;)

  • I guess it depends on the level of toxicity within an argument or why the arguments are occurring but generally, arguments bring issues to the surface that need to be resolved and can bring a couple closer if they choose to argue fairly. My Mother told me to ‘choose your battles wisely’; Looking back, I can now see how this choice has benefited their 33 year long marriage; They’re not perfect and they do have mini arguments along the way but nothing crazy.

    I was in a relationship with a guy who chose to bottle things up; I was blissfully unaware that my boyfriend was starting harbouring anger and resentment until he did a Mt St Helens style eruption and our relationship was never the same after that moment. It was very hard to resolve and long list of tiny issues several months after they occurred.

    1. ‘choose your battles wisely’: very wise. I think picking our battles is CRUCIAL. Potential arguments will always be available, the skill is in determining which ones NEED to be had.

      Thanks Millie! x

  • Arguing is not good. My ex argued all the time. I refused to argue after a period of time. I feel if two people become friends first and work into a best friend status then they will be able to discuss anything without arguing. Disagreements are ok. That is where compromise and understanding comes into the picture. You can have disagreements without arguing and the couple can have fun while doing it.

    1. Hi Matthew :D

      I think having arguments in the start of a relationship is a good Thing because you can talk it out with eachother and than you know eachother better i think ;)
      Because if you have later problems it’s harder to talk it out with eachother because you have kids you are married it depends on any situation i think.
      But and Maybe work comes within and sometimes you Dont have time to talk it out and in a start of a relationship you can see if it works beteren you and eachother.
      It’s better to talk it out first than you never did before.
      I see it with my parents now they gonna divorce Maybe but we dont know how i turns out they are on relationtherapt now. But i’m. Gonna stay strong whatever happens.

      Thanks Matthew you are the best man in the whole wide world That i could wish for. <3 lovely Greetz Thirza A15 YEAR old girl from the Netherlands ;)

  • Arguements are never good for relationships. Im in a relationship that knows nothing like arguments. If there is an issue that can lead to argument, all we do is discuss it and this make our love stronger. I advice, instead of argument…….. DISCUSS it.

    Thanks. IB

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