A strong marriage is a product of years of withstanding changes and trials. Even a strong relationship prior to marriage is no guarantee that a marriage will work. When a couple decides to stay together for good, they get to realize that marriage is always a work in progress. In marriage, disagreements and fights are common and it is important for couples to find ways on how they can better deal with conflict.

When you are at odds with your partner, does it take days before you can resolve the problem? When you can’t seem to share the same views, do you continuously battle for days on end regarding the same issue? Fights are inevitable in a relationship, but couples have the option to spare themselves from all the heartache. Here are some tips on how you can better deal with conflict with your partner:

1. Choose your fights wisely
Before you react with rage, ask yourself over and over again whether it is worth it. In the heat of the moment, many individuals can impulsively react in a manner that they may regret later on. Take deep breaths and try to internalize whether the situation calls for a fight. Most of the time, it’s really best to take the road less traveled and choose diplomacy over useless quarrels.

2. Use a time-out
Time-outs are not only good for kids, but they can work for adults too. Although it’s good to settle fights immediately, there are certain situations that can be settled only after couples spend time away from each other. The time element is crucial because it can give you the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. And with cooler heads, you can better find solutions to your problem.

3. Choose forgiveness over resentment
Remember that we are all imperfect beings, and we commit mistakes. Learn how to control your emotions and do not let past issues influence present ones. If you choose to forgive, you can save yourself and your partner from heartaches and headaches caused by unending issues.

4. Stay calm and be reasonable
Even if you are getting into each other’s nerves, never allow your emotions to take over. If you respond with anger, chances are your partner will also react in the same manner. Learn how to effectively deal with your emotions, and respond sensibly.

5. Think about love
It can be difficult to think about positive thoughts when you are in the middle of a conflict. Your partner may seem like a stranger during a fight, but he is still the same person who will do everything to make you happy. Don’t criticize his character by one incident. Think of the years that you spent together as a happy couple, and use that as a basis for your response. Fights may be unavoidable, but it will not change the fact that you both chose to stay together because of love.

Conflict will always be part of any relationship. It is just testament to how distinct we are as individuals. But when two different individuals choose to love each other despite their differences, they can work together to make the relationship work.