Good and bad arguments

Two people who are together, spend a significant part of their lives in close contact with each other, share much of the same life space, are not always going to want the same thing. They will disagree. They will argue. Arguments are not bad; without conflict in the relationship, there is a risk that one or both partners sacrifice too much of how they truly feel or think. Without conflict, one person is either dominating the other, or both people are merely moving parallel through the same space, with no true connection.

But there are good arguments and there are bad arguments.

A good argument has three basic elements:

1. Each person got to say his or her piece.
2. Each person was heard.
3. The argument ended.

That’s it. In a good argument, both participants get to express clearly, fully, and strongly their side of the story – all of it.

In a bad argument, the argument continues, but now it veers out of control. One of the other may say or do what he or she will later regret, something that could damage the relationship.

It is normal to get carried away with the arguing rather than let go and move on.

Change comes, but usually it is gradual. And of course, healing occurs with the simple passage of time.


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