Many men have been there, when you find yourself in a confrontation with your other half and the idea of getting away – even if it means the world swallowing you up – seems far more appealing than sticking it out and sorting it out together. On the other hand, just as many women have been in that same situation, only this time they want their partner to do the opposite and open up and understand what the problem is, dealing with it there and then for the good of the relationship. Creating somewhat of an imbalance that results in the initial problem often being magnified and dragged out longer than both parties know it should be.
So really it’s no surprise to learn of the recent findings of a study on couples’ reactions during arguments. The study showed that women tend to react more emotionally than men, while men tend to withdraw from relationship strife.
Conducted by the online dating agency Parship, it was found that 41% of those asked, when they argue with their partner, can easily let their emotions run away with them. When there is strife in a relationship, strong emotional reactions are more frequent among women than men (45% vs 36%) according to the findings of the survey of 1000 people between 18 and 65.
Offended or overcome with rage? – The different types of reaction to an argument…
The survey also shows that, among people who react emotionally in the event of conflict, the nature of the emotional outburst differs widely: 40% rapidly take offence and stop speaking to their partner; around a third give vent to their anger and labour their point until their partner gives in, and around one in five withdraw from the argument, leaving the room or the house. Strikingly, men attempt significantly more frequently than women to withdraw from the argument and flee the situation, while women have a greater tendency to give vent to their anger.
So what does this mean and what do we do about it?
Psychologist Markus Ernst, PARSHIP relationship expert, explains that,“Insufficient skill in handling conflict is often the trigger for the failure of a relationship. For instance, gender-driven differences in communication style can easily lead to misunderstandings or even to the couple hurting each other. Women and men stand to learn something from each other in these situations as they work together to establish a constructive attitude to conflict in their relationship.”
Perhaps the way we react to arguments is an inbuilt mechanism we’ve always had, or maybe we have just learnt it along the journey – either way, is often seems to come down to compromise with relationships. Sometimes we have to go against what is innate or learnt for the sake of the relationship.
As always, easier said than done!
How do you (or your partner) react during arguments? Let us know below…