Seriously, ask these questions first and foremost:

  1. Am I Hungry?
  2. Am I Tired?

Or, better yet, if you’re partner is so far past the hunger and sleepiness that they can’t even tell the difference between their rumbling stomach, that nap they need to take, and the annoyance your voice is causing, then ask:

  1. Are You Hungry?
  2. Are You Tired?

Either way, make sure that these two questions are the first thing you ask before you engage in an argument, fight, spat, debate, or whatever other term you want to call it. If you’ve answered yes to either, DISENGAGE!!!

If you don’t, you can rest assured that if either of these are true you are literally going to talk in circles until you drive each other absolutely bonkers. Looking back, the fights I’ve had in my current relationship were a cause of at least one of these things the majority of the time.

There have been maybe a handful, as in three to five times, where we had a disagreement that escalated into a fight as a result of something other than hunger or fatigue. Even then, taking a time out or a five minute walk would have probably been a better idea than engaging.

Take A Hike…but in a good way

That’s my next suggestion, if you just had a filling meal, you got 12 wondrous hours of uninterrupted shut eye the night before, and you STILL feel the urge to engage then TAKE A WALK.

Seriously, Johnny Cash recommends the same thing. I got a lot of good advice reading his book Cash: The Autobiography. One of the best pieces of advice wasn’t framed as advice, it was just his observation on how he avoided fights with June Carter.

This is not verbatim, but essentially when they had a disagreement, he said he would take a walk. And, it was quite rare that he wouldn’t see things a little more her way once he was through with that walk. Now, to me, that does not mean that she was always right. It just means that after taking a walk, he had the mental clarity to realize that he wasn’t always right and there was probably some truth in whatever June was saying.

I do my best to practice this in my own life, because sometimes my ego gets too damned loud, and I need a few minutes to cool off so that voice will quiet back to a regular level.

This is all to say that you should do whatever it takes to avoid a fight. Fighting hurts. Not just you, but the other person as well. That may be a “no duh” sounding statement, but I don’t think people really get how damaging a “little spat” can really be. Who wants to intentionally hurt anyone that they love? I know I don’t. I’ve been there, and I don’t plan on ever going back.

So, if all of this fails, if you’re not tired, hungry, or in a need of a timeout or walk, then ask each other: Do we need to have sex?