And I’m not talking about his Bruce Lee moves. Here’s how to handle an argument with your sweetheart before things get out of hand. This comes from psychologist Dr. Paul Coleman, who wrote the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Intimacy.
- If your guy goes mute at the first sign of conflict. Don’t assume he’s ignoring you. Experts say that while women speak between 7 and 10 thousand words a day, men only speak around 2 thousand words. That means by the time he gets home from work, he’s all talked out! What’s the fix? Calmly tell him how you feel, then say you’re going out for an hour, but want to discuss things later. This gives him time to process his thoughts and figure out what he’s going to say – since he has fewer words to state his case.
- What if your guy uses humor to diffuse an argument? Don’t accuse him of not ‘taking you seriously.’ Cracking jokes and making puppy dog eyes is his way of trying to get back on your good side. Guys don’t stew over things like women do, so he figures if he can get you to smile, you’ll forget about the fight. What’s the fix? Calmly repeat what’s bothering you. Once he sees jokes aren’t going to fix things, he’ll answer you like an adult.
- What if your guy flies off the handle? First, figure out if his tantrum is a result of something else – maybe he had a bad day at work. Say something like ‘I don’t understand why you’re screaming at me. Did you have a bad day?’ But if flying off the handle is just part of his DNA, he needs to understand his behavior isn’t acceptable. So say something like ‘I’m not interested in out-screaming you. We’ll discuss this when you can control your temper.’
- What if your guy twists an argument around so it’s always your fault? Resist the urge to finger-point right back – playing the ‘blame game’ doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Instead, stop him in his tracks by saying ‘The bottom line is this – I’m feeling hurt and I want us to find a solution to the problem.’ Using the word ‘us’ shows you’re not accusing him of anything, so he’s more likely to talk things out.