A recent study claims the coronavirus lockdown drove a 34% increase in divorces over the first four months of the pandemic in the U.S. Sure, it's possible the intensity of EVERYTHING showed all the cracks in a relationship and made them impossible to dodge, but what if it didn't have to be that way?
Before hiring that lawyer or mediator, maybe a couple can enjoy a second life by trying a few relationship hacks. Here's four tips on how to fight better, because fighting is actually a sign of emotional intimacy and definitely needs to happen from time to time for a relationship to get strong and stay strong.
1. When you’re in the middle of an argument, take the “break up” words out of the equation. Nobody can have a fair fight if they think the entire relationship is on the line. Make a ground rule ahead of time. Even when we fight, we promise to still love each other. And don’t rehash old stuff. Stick to one fight at a time.
2. Never get into a battle of the victims. If you’re looking for love and respect in a relationship, don’t do it by playing the victim. Constantly trying to make your partner feel sorry for you will wear on the relationship. How about impressing your person by how resilient you are?
3. Practice being wrong. True, it's not fun to feel like you "lost" an argument or finding out that you said or did the wrong thing, but in a relationship the big winner should be…the relationship! Saying the words "my mistake," or "point taken," "oops," or "I messed up," can be liberating. And the two best words? "I’m sorry." These are powerful.
4. Zip it when you win. Whenever you’re wrong, admit it. Whenever you’re right, shut up. Relationships are no place for gloating, bragging, or making your partner defensive. Just smile to yourself. Give the loser a hug and move on.
And, well, if it turns out you do need a mediator, listen to this:
Dr. Wendy talks to a former divorce attorney who says that kind of work actually challenged her moral compass - and not for the better. Now Jeanann Khalife, Esq. is a mediator and says going separate ways doesn't have to be awful. Jeannan was named a Top Attorney in North America by the Who's-Who Directory. She was also recognized by Orange County Business Journal in the Attorneys of Distinction section in 2017. She can be found at Alternative Divorce Solutions.