Directions

Ingredients

How to NEVER Lose Another Argument With Your Partner

Both of us are in long-term, loving, committed marriages. And we’ve also both been in our fair share of arguments. We’ve learned a lot through our years of training, research, working with clients, and putting a lot of hard work into the relationships that matter most to us.

The secret to never losing another argument is to stop playing the game of arguing. Conflict and differences will always arise. But by using the communication tools below, you can transform your conflicts into openings for deeper understanding, new levels of care, and a stronger foundation for a lifelong partnership.

1. Speak only the truth

"When I experienced X, I felt Y." Practice only using statements beginning with “I” and avoid starting sentences with “you.”

“You” puts the other person on the defensive and into argument mode. Your experience and your feelings belong to you and no one else; they’re all valid and your personal truths in how you’ve experienced a situation. You can’t lose this argument!

It may be the case that you misunderstood something, or that your experience and feelings are ultimately the results of some past trauma and not the current situation. But the reality remains: you had an experience and feelings followed.

2. Own everything

Honestly owning what is yours in any conflict or disagreement usually frees up your partner to begin to own what is theirs.

What does it mean to own “yours?” It means owning your triggers (the things that emotionally activate you in ways that don’t usually activate others) and owning your conscious values (“I have a value for honesty”), and working to own your unconscious values (what we call shadow values: things we value but aren’t aware of).

By owning your triggers and values, you’re saying: this is all my stuff I’m aware of, I want to let you in, and I want to be let into your inner world as well. Instead of the conflict turning into a battleground, it opens up as a field for compassionate mutual understanding.

3. Make it about your parts and not your True Self

In Internal Family Systems Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach to emotional health, our internal world is made up of a bunch of mental-emotional parts that have either been wounded over the years or have grown up to protect us from those wounds.

All of our triggers, all of our lashing out, and all of our addictive and neglectful behaviors are due to these protective parts acting out. When you’re in an argument, take a second to reflect on how your parts are playing a central role in the conflict.

Recognize the role your inner parts play and then relax back into your True Self. Ask yourself: what would my true/highest self say about how I am acting right now? What do I need to change/adjust in order to act intentionally with my truest self? Your parts may lose the argument, but your True Self stays undefeated!

4. Focus on healing

You will never lose another argument if you see your conflicts with your partner as conflicts between your inner emotional wounds and their inner emotional wounds.

Most of our emotional wounds have their roots in childhood and over the years we all have developed strategies for protecting these wounds and preventing further wounding.

When we get triggered or emotionally activated in a conflict, we can take notice, step back, and focus on what needs to be healed. There is no winning and losing from this higher perspective; the only thing that matters is healing.        

5. Come back to the big picture

Ask yourself if your relationship is more important than winning this conflict. If your relationship is more highly valued, then winning and losing don’t matter.

Lifelong, committed relationships can’t be built solely on love, agreement, and similarity–at least if both partners are going to stay true to themselves. It also takes renewed commitment. Try using your conflicts and disagreements as an opportunity to renew your commitment to each other and the family as a whole. Turn the spotlight away from the conflict and onto your shared commitment to your family.

If you liked this article, then sign up for [future event: Love Alive: Communication Skills for Committed Couples] and our Connect Masterclass.

How to NEVER Lose Another Argument With Your Partner

Close
Theme icon

Podcast /

Content /

Connect

How to NEVER Lose Another Argument With Your Partner

Justin Wilford, PhD and Alicia Wuth, PsyD share some powerful evidence-based relationship communication tools that can help you to never lose another argument with your partner

Join The Family Thrive community and download the mobile app, all for free!

JOIN TODAY

Key takeaways

1

Speak with "I" statements and own everything that's yours in the conflict

2

Make it about your inner parts and not your True Self, and focus on healing inner emotional wounds

3

Think of the big picture: your relationship means more than winning an argument

Low hassle, high nutrition

Fierce Food: Easy

Fierce Food: Easy

50/50 mixes of powerful veggies and starchy favorites

Fierce Food: Balance

Fierce Food: Balance

Maximize nutrients, minimize sugar and starch

Fierce Food: Power

Fierce Food: Power

Ingredients

Kitchen Equipment

Ingredient Replacement

View replacement list (PDF)

Reading time:

3 Minutes

Both of us are in long-term, loving, committed marriages. And we’ve also both been in our fair share of arguments. We’ve learned a lot through our years of training, research, working with clients, and putting a lot of hard work into the relationships that matter most to us.

The secret to never losing another argument is to stop playing the game of arguing. Conflict and differences will always arise. But by using the communication tools below, you can transform your conflicts into openings for deeper understanding, new levels of care, and a stronger foundation for a lifelong partnership.

1. Speak only the truth

"When I experienced X, I felt Y." Practice only using statements beginning with “I” and avoid starting sentences with “you.”

“You” puts the other person on the defensive and into argument mode. Your experience and your feelings belong to you and no one else; they’re all valid and your personal truths in how you’ve experienced a situation. You can’t lose this argument!

It may be the case that you misunderstood something, or that your experience and feelings are ultimately the results of some past trauma and not the current situation. But the reality remains: you had an experience and feelings followed.

2. Own everything

Honestly owning what is yours in any conflict or disagreement usually frees up your partner to begin to own what is theirs.

What does it mean to own “yours?” It means owning your triggers (the things that emotionally activate you in ways that don’t usually activate others) and owning your conscious values (“I have a value for honesty”), and working to own your unconscious values (what we call shadow values: things we value but aren’t aware of).

By owning your triggers and values, you’re saying: this is all my stuff I’m aware of, I want to let you in, and I want to be let into your inner world as well. Instead of the conflict turning into a battleground, it opens up as a field for compassionate mutual understanding.

3. Make it about your parts and not your True Self

In Internal Family Systems Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach to emotional health, our internal world is made up of a bunch of mental-emotional parts that have either been wounded over the years or have grown up to protect us from those wounds.

All of our triggers, all of our lashing out, and all of our addictive and neglectful behaviors are due to these protective parts acting out. When you’re in an argument, take a second to reflect on how your parts are playing a central role in the conflict.

Recognize the role your inner parts play and then relax back into your True Self. Ask yourself: what would my true/highest self say about how I am acting right now? What do I need to change/adjust in order to act intentionally with my truest self? Your parts may lose the argument, but your True Self stays undefeated!

4. Focus on healing

You will never lose another argument if you see your conflicts with your partner as conflicts between your inner emotional wounds and their inner emotional wounds.

Most of our emotional wounds have their roots in childhood and over the years we all have developed strategies for protecting these wounds and preventing further wounding.

When we get triggered or emotionally activated in a conflict, we can take notice, step back, and focus on what needs to be healed. There is no winning and losing from this higher perspective; the only thing that matters is healing.        

5. Come back to the big picture

Ask yourself if your relationship is more important than winning this conflict. If your relationship is more highly valued, then winning and losing don’t matter.

Lifelong, committed relationships can’t be built solely on love, agreement, and similarity–at least if both partners are going to stay true to themselves. It also takes renewed commitment. Try using your conflicts and disagreements as an opportunity to renew your commitment to each other and the family as a whole. Turn the spotlight away from the conflict and onto your shared commitment to your family.

If you liked this article, then sign up for [future event: Love Alive: Communication Skills for Committed Couples] and our Connect Masterclass.

Both of us are in long-term, loving, committed marriages. And we’ve also both been in our fair share of arguments. We’ve learned a lot through our years of training, research, working with clients, and putting a lot of hard work into the relationships that matter most to us.

The secret to never losing another argument is to stop playing the game of arguing. Conflict and differences will always arise. But by using the communication tools below, you can transform your conflicts into openings for deeper understanding, new levels of care, and a stronger foundation for a lifelong partnership.

1. Speak only the truth

"When I experienced X, I felt Y." Practice only using statements beginning with “I” and avoid starting sentences with “you.”

“You” puts the other person on the defensive and into argument mode. Your experience and your feelings belong to you and no one else; they’re all valid and your personal truths in how you’ve experienced a situation. You can’t lose this argument!

It may be the case that you misunderstood something, or that your experience and feelings are ultimately the results of some past trauma and not the current situation. But the reality remains: you had an experience and feelings followed.

2. Own everything

Honestly owning what is yours in any conflict or disagreement usually frees up your partner to begin to own what is theirs.

What does it mean to own “yours?” It means owning your triggers (the things that emotionally activate you in ways that don’t usually activate others) and owning your conscious values (“I have a value for honesty”), and working to own your unconscious values (what we call shadow values: things we value but aren’t aware of).

By owning your triggers and values, you’re saying: this is all my stuff I’m aware of, I want to let you in, and I want to be let into your inner world as well. Instead of the conflict turning into a battleground, it opens up as a field for compassionate mutual understanding.

3. Make it about your parts and not your True Self

In Internal Family Systems Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach to emotional health, our internal world is made up of a bunch of mental-emotional parts that have either been wounded over the years or have grown up to protect us from those wounds.

All of our triggers, all of our lashing out, and all of our addictive and neglectful behaviors are due to these protective parts acting out. When you’re in an argument, take a second to reflect on how your parts are playing a central role in the conflict.

Recognize the role your inner parts play and then relax back into your True Self. Ask yourself: what would my true/highest self say about how I am acting right now? What do I need to change/adjust in order to act intentionally with my truest self? Your parts may lose the argument, but your True Self stays undefeated!

4. Focus on healing

You will never lose another argument if you see your conflicts with your partner as conflicts between your inner emotional wounds and their inner emotional wounds.

Most of our emotional wounds have their roots in childhood and over the years we all have developed strategies for protecting these wounds and preventing further wounding.

When we get triggered or emotionally activated in a conflict, we can take notice, step back, and focus on what needs to be healed. There is no winning and losing from this higher perspective; the only thing that matters is healing.        

5. Come back to the big picture

Ask yourself if your relationship is more important than winning this conflict. If your relationship is more highly valued, then winning and losing don’t matter.

Lifelong, committed relationships can’t be built solely on love, agreement, and similarity–at least if both partners are going to stay true to themselves. It also takes renewed commitment. Try using your conflicts and disagreements as an opportunity to renew your commitment to each other and the family as a whole. Turn the spotlight away from the conflict and onto your shared commitment to your family.

If you liked this article, then sign up for [future event: Love Alive: Communication Skills for Committed Couples] and our Connect Masterclass.

Both of us are in long-term, loving, committed marriages. And we’ve also both been in our fair share of arguments. We’ve learned a lot through our years of training, research, working with clients, and putting a lot of hard work into the relationships that matter most to us.

The secret to never losing another argument is to stop playing the game of arguing. Conflict and differences will always arise. But by using the communication tools below, you can transform your conflicts into openings for deeper understanding, new levels of care, and a stronger foundation for a lifelong partnership.

1. Speak only the truth

"When I experienced X, I felt Y." Practice only using statements beginning with “I” and avoid starting sentences with “you.”

“You” puts the other person on the defensive and into argument mode. Your experience and your feelings belong to you and no one else; they’re all valid and your personal truths in how you’ve experienced a situation. You can’t lose this argument!

It may be the case that you misunderstood something, or that your experience and feelings are ultimately the results of some past trauma and not the current situation. But the reality remains: you had an experience and feelings followed.

2. Own everything

Honestly owning what is yours in any conflict or disagreement usually frees up your partner to begin to own what is theirs.

What does it mean to own “yours?” It means owning your triggers (the things that emotionally activate you in ways that don’t usually activate others) and owning your conscious values (“I have a value for honesty”), and working to own your unconscious values (what we call shadow values: things we value but aren’t aware of).

By owning your triggers and values, you’re saying: this is all my stuff I’m aware of, I want to let you in, and I want to be let into your inner world as well. Instead of the conflict turning into a battleground, it opens up as a field for compassionate mutual understanding.

3. Make it about your parts and not your True Self

In Internal Family Systems Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach to emotional health, our internal world is made up of a bunch of mental-emotional parts that have either been wounded over the years or have grown up to protect us from those wounds.

All of our triggers, all of our lashing out, and all of our addictive and neglectful behaviors are due to these protective parts acting out. When you’re in an argument, take a second to reflect on how your parts are playing a central role in the conflict.

Recognize the role your inner parts play and then relax back into your True Self. Ask yourself: what would my true/highest self say about how I am acting right now? What do I need to change/adjust in order to act intentionally with my truest self? Your parts may lose the argument, but your True Self stays undefeated!

4. Focus on healing

You will never lose another argument if you see your conflicts with your partner as conflicts between your inner emotional wounds and their inner emotional wounds.

Most of our emotional wounds have their roots in childhood and over the years we all have developed strategies for protecting these wounds and preventing further wounding.

When we get triggered or emotionally activated in a conflict, we can take notice, step back, and focus on what needs to be healed. There is no winning and losing from this higher perspective; the only thing that matters is healing.        

5. Come back to the big picture

Ask yourself if your relationship is more important than winning this conflict. If your relationship is more highly valued, then winning and losing don’t matter.

Lifelong, committed relationships can’t be built solely on love, agreement, and similarity–at least if both partners are going to stay true to themselves. It also takes renewed commitment. Try using your conflicts and disagreements as an opportunity to renew your commitment to each other and the family as a whole. Turn the spotlight away from the conflict and onto your shared commitment to your family.

If you liked this article, then sign up for [future event: Love Alive: Communication Skills for Committed Couples] and our Connect Masterclass.

Enjoying this? Subscribe to The Family Thrive for more healthy recipes, video classes, and more.

Discover Nourish

See more
How to NEVER Lose Another Argument With Your Partner

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

How to NEVER Lose Another Argument With Your Partner

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

Preparing to thrive before the baby arrives: Three steps to support new moms’ mental and emotional health

Podcast

Preparing to thrive before the baby arrives: Three steps to support new moms’ mental and emotional health

By

Bridget Cross, LCSW, PMH-C

Podcast Ep. 21: Thriving Through the Teen Years with Jena Curtis, EdD, and Vanessa Baker, Parent-Teen Relationship Coach

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 21: Thriving Through the Teen Years with Jena Curtis, EdD, and Vanessa Baker, Parent-Teen Relationship Coach

By

The Family Thrive Podcast

Parenting Is the Spiritual Practice the World Needs Right Now

Podcast

Parenting Is the Spiritual Practice the World Needs Right Now

By

Justin Wilford, PhD

New Research: One science-backed trick for parents to build stronger muscles

Podcast

New Research: One science-backed trick for parents to build stronger muscles

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Parent intimacy may reduce adolescent depression

Podcast

New Research: Parent intimacy may reduce adolescent depression

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: High-carb meals activate brain areas associated with addiction and hunger

Podcast

New Research: High-carb meals activate brain areas associated with addiction and hunger

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: One More Reason to Avoid Pop Tarts, Cheez-Its, and Other Processed Snacks

Podcast

New Research Tuesday: One More Reason to Avoid Pop Tarts, Cheez-Its, and Other Processed Snacks

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Micronutrients in colorful fruits & vegetables linked to improved brain health

Podcast

New Research: Micronutrients in colorful fruits & vegetables linked to improved brain health

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Probiotics improve body weight, body fat, and heart health in adults

Podcast

New Research: Probiotics improve body weight, body fat, and heart health in adults

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Ask the Experts: Should my Teen Have a Cellphone?

Podcast

Ask the Experts: Should my Teen Have a Cellphone?

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Preparing to thrive before the baby arrives: Three steps to support new moms’ mental and emotional health

Pro Perspective

Preparing to thrive before the baby arrives: Three steps to support new moms’ mental and emotional health

By

Bridget Cross, LCSW, PMH-C

Podcast Ep. 21: Thriving Through the Teen Years with Jena Curtis, EdD, and Vanessa Baker, Parent-Teen Relationship Coach

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 21: Thriving Through the Teen Years with Jena Curtis, EdD, and Vanessa Baker, Parent-Teen Relationship Coach

By

The Family Thrive Podcast

Parenting Is the Spiritual Practice the World Needs Right Now

Pro Perspective

Parenting Is the Spiritual Practice the World Needs Right Now

By

Justin Wilford, PhD

New Research: One science-backed trick for parents to build stronger muscles

New Research Tuesday

New Research: One science-backed trick for parents to build stronger muscles

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Parent intimacy may reduce adolescent depression

New Research Tuesday

New Research: Parent intimacy may reduce adolescent depression

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: High-carb meals activate brain areas associated with addiction and hunger

New Research Tuesday

New Research: High-carb meals activate brain areas associated with addiction and hunger

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: One More Reason to Avoid Pop Tarts, Cheez-Its, and Other Processed Snacks

New Research Tuesday

New Research Tuesday: One More Reason to Avoid Pop Tarts, Cheez-Its, and Other Processed Snacks

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Micronutrients in colorful fruits & vegetables linked to improved brain health

New Research Tuesday

New Research: Micronutrients in colorful fruits & vegetables linked to improved brain health

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research: Probiotics improve body weight, body fat, and heart health in adults

New Research Tuesday

New Research: Probiotics improve body weight, body fat, and heart health in adults

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Ask the Experts: Should my Teen Have a Cellphone?

Pro Perspective

Ask the Experts: Should my Teen Have a Cellphone?

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Subscribe to get all the goods

Join for free
Login