Relationships are a hot topic at the moment.
I have been asked by Diva Magazine (Europe’s leading magazine for lesbians and bi women) to contribute to a piece all about arguments in gay relationships.
What I discuss here doesn’t only apply to gay relationships. It applies to ALL relationships – intimate and otherwise.
I was asked 4 questions about arguments in relationships. Here are the questions, and my answers.
1. What are the biggest causes of tension and arguments in LGBT relationships?
You experience tension and conflict when a person or situation triggers something in you. The person or situation that triggers a reaction from you is highlighting what you need to work on – within yourself.
This is how most conversations go: you listen to what is being said, and then you have a reaction. Your response is based on the reaction you had.
So what is going on here? What causes the reaction?
There is a split second after you have listened to what was said where you place a judgement on what is going on. That judgement causes you to have an emotional reaction to what was said. The feeling you have in that moment is not an emotion based on what was said. It is an emotion in response to the judgement you just made about what was said.
What triggers you is here to teach you something about yourself. It is flagging up a belief, a fear or the conditioning you have and that you’ve experienced throughout your life that needs working through. This is a growth opportunity for you.
2. What’s the best way to resolve an argument with a partner?
Become aware of your interpretations. Listen to your partner. Then notice how you interpreted what they said. What is going on inside of you? What were the judgements you made in that moment?
Instead of letting the emotional reaction take place, stop yourself. Tell your partner how you interpreted what they said. Your partner’s role is to not judge your interpretation. It’s to listen and clarify what they meant. Make sure you are both on the same page.
Practice this together and notice the difference it makes in your interactions.
When you have worked through the issue with your partner in the moment, it is essential to reflect on it on your own. Why? Because what you see in others is a reflection of what you are putting out to them. They are mirroring you.
Ask yourself what did that person say or do or what was it about the situation that triggered you to feel conflict, to feel uncomfortable. What is it that they touched upon? Is there a belief they are triggering? Is it that they may find out you are a fraud? Is it a fear – maybe of losing control or looking silly in some way?
Identify what THAT is. Then work through it.
If you don’t work through it, the universe will keep bringing you situations and people that will trigger the same thing – until you do recognise it and work through it.
Instead of viewing this as a negative experience, turn it around in your head. View this as an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level.
I can guarantee, this will deepen your connection and compassion towards each other when you begin to resolve things in this way.
3. Can arguing ever be a sign of a healthy relationship?
To me arguments are a sign that you have been triggered and this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn something about yourself and to grow.
Relationships are your greatest teacher.
4. How do you know when arguing means it’s time to call it quits?
When you are in the swing of an argument it may feel like it is time to call it quits.
The thing is, you will continue to experience the same arguments, be it in this relationship or another.
This isn’t about your partner. This is about what is going on inside of you. And you can never quit on you.
Resolve what is going on in you and you will resolve the arguments with your partner.
If you are experiencing arguments in your relationship I hope that has given you some insights, some inspiration and something that you can take away to work on.