Fighting with my Boyfriend

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
if i stay with my boyfriend after plenty of fights does that make me naive? Advice
Well, millions of women out there are with fighting boyfriends so no, that doesn't make you naive. And I have to point out that it takes two to fight :) So there is something wrong with the whole way you two interact with each other, if it constantly gets to the point that a discussion turns into yelling and screaming. If he is HITTING you then YES GET AWAY. Hitting does NOT stop, it only stays the same or gets worse over time, and the longer you stay, the harder it is to escape. LEAVE if he is at all physically harming you.

But let's assume it's just yelling and screaming. You have to stop the cycle now, because the more it becomes "normal" the harder it is to stop it. The couples that work together the best are best friends. This means they respect each other and always love each other, even when they disagree. This means they do NOT scream at each other. If the only way you can convince your partner of something is to be louder than they are, you're not making your point well.

So have a good dinner together and then sit down with him to talk. Explain that you know that these fights harm your relationship and that you want to do your part so that you don't fight any more. Again, fighting takes two people. So say that from this point forward, if you feel things getting tense, you're going to ask for a timeout until you can both discuss it again reasonably. That you're doing this for BOTH of you, because you care about the relationship so much and want it to last. He can say "OK I will try too" (which would be great) or "Let's see how long you last" (which would be rather unsupportive) but in any case you've told him.

The next time you feel voices start to raise, close your mouth and count to ten. You could be PERFECTLY RIGHT in the argument. It doesn't matter. The point isn't this one argument. The point is your entire life with this guy and how you want to live it. So explain that you're going to go work on something else (read, take a bubble bath etc) and that you two can work it through later on. Nothing in life is so immediate that it HAS to be fought about that very second. Yes, this requires sacrifice. It could be something that you feel very strongly about and that you feel he is completely wrong about. But it doesn't matter. Your aim is to have a long term, loving relationship with this guy. And that does not involve fighting. So one of you has to not fight with the other, and if it's going to be you, so be it.

Hopefully after a few times of this, the dynamic of your discussions will change. Instead of jumping to a full blown screaming match, you'll both SEE when it crosses that line and back off a bit. Really, after a bit of practice, it becomes really easy and you'll be amazed that you used to scream at each other all the time. And your relationship is SO much better when you don't have part of it tinged with "he can scream at me sometimes." Love is supposed to be fully supportive, not something that is sometimes-nice, sometimes-really-painful.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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