There are two extremely painful experiences we all face in life: Death of a loved one and the end to a meaningful relationship. Death is something that can't be stopped. It's something that we all have to face, so I won't be writing about that. In terms of relationships, that's something we have some control over. Let me give you one question I learned to ask that will help your relationship stand a better chance of survival.
The thing that kills many relationships is the words that are said out of anger. Once you say something, you can't take it back. Many times, when we get into an argument, the main point of the argument gets lost and we end up arguing about things that are way off the original topic. Has this ever happened to you? Sometimes, just to prove that we are right, we will say things we don't mean just to "win" the argument.
I had a discussion with a cousin of mine years ago about relationships and how he handles arguments. He told me something I will never forget. His method of dealing with arguments is asking himself one question: Is this worth risking the relationship over? No matter how small the argument seems, he would ask that question.
If you ask that question, you will see that the majority of the time, whatever it is the argument is about, your answer will be a resounding, "No!" I'm sure you've had this happen where the argument starts off as a minor one, over something stupid, but then grows into something more serious just because neither side was willing to lose.
When you understand that small arguments have a tendency to grow into big ones and that big ones can grow into arguments that can destroy the relationship, you would think twice about wanting to win the argument. That's why asking yourself whether or not the petty argument is worth risking the relationship over is so useful. Too many times during the midst of an argument, we forget that the person we're debating with is the most important person in our life.
When you start making it a habit of asking this one important question, you will be able to calm down and remember what's really important, the love you share for one another. So the next time you argue over something like who left the toothpaste cap open, just ask yourself the question. If the answer is no, just give them the win. Once tempers are back to normal, you can discuss it further when the both or you are in a lighter mood. Use this one question often. It could save your relationship.
Until next time...