It is a common myth that successful relationships do not experience conflict. However, even the best relationship is bound to have issues arise (and it is even healthy for that to happen). The difference between a good relationship and a problematic one is how you and your partner choose to handle those conflicts; simply having a disagreement on an issue does not mean that you need to fight.

There are some simple tips that can help you avoid turning your issues into unfair fights. Check out our list below, and consider trying Houston marriage counseling to make incorporating these tips into your relationship as easy as possible.

1.  Make the decision not to fight. Fighting is extremely harmful, and is sometimes even intentionally hurtful. Couples may raise their voices or resort to abusive language and behavior. Don’t give into your desires to fight, and don’t feel like you must fight back if your partner tries to instigate. Decide to develop a stronger relationship by deciding to negotiate and discuss your issues instead of fighting.

2. Do not resolve conflict through power. Some partners are tempted to resort to traditional gender roles and concepts of power in a household to end a fight. This often leaves the other partner feeling unappreciated and insignificant. A relationship can quickly sour if one person does not feel respected and is treated as someone who is not equal. Make a conscious decision to respect one another as equal partners.

3. Focus on the big picture. It can be easy, in the heat of the moment, to feel like the issue bothering you is the most important thing in your relationship. If you begin to feel this way, step back, and consider the good things about your relationship. Remember that you love this person, and why. Make sure to acknowledge what is good in your partner, and don’t let a small problem overshadow the positives in your relationship.

4. Listen with an attitude of acceptance. It’s incredibly harmful to communication to harbor a negative attitude as soon as your partner speaks. Listen to them with an open mind, and thank them for sharing their issues with you. Allow them to feel safe with you, and make sure they allow you to feel the same. Communication is essential to any successful relationship, and an accepting attitude makes that much easier.

When you want to fight, step back and think of healthier ways to communicate. Your relationship will thank you!