Arguments Normal in a Relationship

Whilst I’ve found a lot of dating material that helps in the realm of no sex before marriage, make sure your partner follows Christ etc. The actual specifics of being in a relationship with another human being aren’t usually laid out, which I suppose should seem obvious, but you really have to wonder what you do when someone is potentially the person you will marry.

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 8 months now and I’d say for the past 3 months maybe we have a lot of arguments that turn not so friendly. They make us very unhappy, even though they’re not really over significant things at all, we can hardly even remember what we argue over sometimes and ironing that out can take a while. It usually is just something tiny like we’re reacting to the way the other person is saying something or it was just a misunderstanding in the first place. What was so concerning is why it would go to such extremes in the first place.

After talking for a while it became clear that I’ve been rather oversensitive to some stuff and also my boyfriend is very quick to anger when he thinks someone might been implying that he is not so intelligent (because his father used to make fun of my bf for not being as smart as him, which is horrible). He tends to really lash out, but he knows he has this problem. For a while we weren’t sure what to do and he was hesitant to seek help for his anger issues, but he decided he doesn’t want to live this way and wants to treat me better, especially because he can’t be like this with a family.

We’ve had some teary conversations about ending it but it isn’t what either of us wants and if he really can work on these problems I can still see myself building a family together. He has so many great qualities I would like in a husband and a father of my children, that I don’t want to give up on dating him, especially since he has seen me through my own therapy and issues and supported me in that. He came to my doctors appointments and took me to my first counsellors meeting over issues with my family. He also came with me to see my grandmother when we had to do so in the presence of my hostile family members.

To what extent is all of this just normal for a relationships progress? Sometimes in books I read it seems like you’re supposed to have a wonderful prayerful experience with the other person, going to mass and hanging out with the family and you’ll realise what a virtuous person they are and how they’re the perfect future father of your children. My experience seems to be not quite this, that everybody has problems and not all have to scare you away maybe? Relationships, even before marriage, surely will always be hard work? I just want to know that it’s okay for us to go through rocky periods even though we’re not married and I want to know if this is all going too far or not… Does this sound like a weird relationship to you?

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Personally, I think its important for a couple to learn how each other argue. You can learn how each other reacts to some of the tougher parts of a relationship. How each of you work to resolve the problem is important. If one of you “has to always be right,” you have a problem. If there’s any physical violence, run. But if you both listen to each other, give each other a chance to speak their mind without interruption, and listen to each other, you’ll realize this may be someone who will respect you as much as you respect them. You each need to be able to communicate to resolve issues that will arise. You also need to be able to forgive each other. You will sometimes need to accept something you may not be happy with, as will they. You must be able to be honest with each other, trust each other, and accept whatever imperfections the other may have. God Bless!!!

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Thank you, that sounds realistic and is also a relief in my situation to hear. He isn’t physically violent at all, no worries there.

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If their parents argued, they will be prone to argue.

Arguments ideally shouldn’t happen but it’s highly probable they will happen at some point. You either grow from them or break from them.

Peace.

Honestly, I think that’s the gold standard. Like maybe if you are saints. For the rest of us… we have good days and bad days. We certainly bring all our family baggage into our relationships. There should be way more good than bad, but most people have human failing and that includes: blowing things out of proportion, melting down at inopportune times, making an idiot out of yourself, and lashing out when feeling threatened. And then feeling like a
Schmuck afterwards. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Yep.

Actions speak louder than words. When people tell you who they are with their actions and their words… believe them.

I think one thing positive is you are both self aware and recognizing what your triggers are and making an effort to learn new responses and better ways of communicating.

I think it’s totally normal to a large degree— learning how to communicate and compromise is normal. It’s not that you fight, it’s how you fight. That said, I don’t think you should be fighting all the time, and if behaviors don’t change and it doesn’t get better— revisit it.

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Relationships all take some work. However, not every relationship is “hard work”. That doesn’t mean your relationship is necessarily bad if you have some challenges to work on. Some people don’t mind that, some people even enjoy that. There are others who seek out relationships that go as easily as possible, perhaps because they already have significant challenges in other areas of life and would like a partner/ spouse who doesn’t come with even more challenges to add to the pile.

It sounds like you’ve made the decision to hang in there and try to work this out together, because the potential benefits are great if you can come to a better understanding. I would say for you to set a timeline in your mind at least that things need to be improving after X number of months. If you get to month X and after having both worked on the problem, you’re still having the same issue or it’s not improving, consider looking elsewhere. A guy with an ongoing anger management problem is not a good risk for marriage.

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You are two people, different people with different backgrounds and possibly expectations among other things. If the two of you are serious about a lifelong relationship together May I suggest:

Engaged Encounter: http://www.engagedencounter.org/

This is similar to the World Wide Marriage Encounter but for engaged couples. They teach you how to turn a difference of opinions into a discussion and not an argument or fight.

Read this book together: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Forever-Revised-Expanded/dp/1612789064/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1547052795&sr=1-1&keywords=for+better+forever

They show how to turn a marriage into an Exceptional Marriage. you read the chapters together, work the exercises at the end of each individually, and discuss your answers together.

Another good one is: https://paradisusdei.org/the-choice-wine/

There is a book and workbooks the two of you can go through together. There is also a set of DVD’s that you can watch together. They also have actual seminar’s (retreats) that you go to together.

Think of the dating process, especially when it starts getting serious as an extended job interview for the position of Husband/wife.

Good luck and God bless.

Patrick
AMDG

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My best advice, take a long look. If you have dated chastely for 8 months, I assume you are discerning marriage.

When you marry someone, do not marry them expecting them to change. It sounds like you both could benefit from individual counseling, for him anger management. Either do the work to improve these parts of yourselves now or know you will drag these issues into a marriage.

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That’s fantastic, thank you so much!

Unrelated to the thread but I love your profile pic @terrytango :joy:

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Hahaha, thanks! I thought it looked relaxing :sunny:

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