We know this instinctively and this is what we try to instill in our kids. We do it everyday as parents when we break up their fights or petty squabbles. So why then don't many parents stop and think about it when they are slap bang wham in the middle of a massive row with their partner, in full view of their children? It's amazing how many parents seem to think they are above the law, so to speak. And this type of behavior sends out the wrong message to kids.
Imagine, one minute you are breaking a fight that two of your children are having. Usually its to do with a toy that one of them has and won't share with the other one. So you break this fight up. You tell them it's wrong to fight and to sort out their issues, to make up and get over it. And then a while later you go and do the same thing with your partner. How does this look from a child's point of view?
Don't get me wrong, I'm no angel myself.
But if there is one thing that I have learned, especially once the children were toddlers and had started learning to talk, was to keep our heated debates and arguments out of sight and out of earshot of the children. I remember all too well the constant bickering and full blown rows my own parents used to have when we were children. And those rows affected me so badly then. I have never wanted to put my own children through any of this.
Communication is key.
Really. In all our relationships, if your communication dies, you'll have a hard time getting your relationship on track. We argue because of issues that we cannot resolve. Improve your communication if you want to get to a solution rather than be stuck in a fight forever arguing about the same thing over and over again. Now I know this is easier said than done. Being in a relationship ten years down the line, with added responsibility and children and more stress and tiredness compounding the situation does not bode well. But here's the thing: most people experience this.
You're not the only one.
You may even find that you argue more as time goes on and this isn't because you are fed up of each other, rather that you are just plain tired and life and external stress can become too much at times. Taking it out on each other seems like letting off a bit of steam. Until the children hear you and then they start worrying about why you fight so much and whether you're going to get divorced. Don't do this to your children. Instead, take the energy you would put into your anger and use it to work harder on your relationship with each other. Try to re-ignite the spark that was there once upon a time.
Make time for each other.
Try to find at least one day a week or every fortnight when you can go on a date with each other. No kids, no family stuff, just time for and with each other. Even something like going out for a meal, away from the home, away from the kids will do you a world of good. Strive to listen to your partner and seek to understand where they are coming from. It's not always about being right. Sometimes, it's easier and better to just say "ok". One small world. Can hush a fight. It can stop an argument in mid-flight. It can make a grown man stop in mid-sentence. Try it.
BIO Amber Milne runs a relationship website at bluvd.com where she discusses many issues affecting relationships in the moderm world such as helping men deal with break ups and providing women with advice onmeeting the right guy.