A Relationship Expert's Best Tips For Bringing Up Issues Without Starting A Fight

When everything is going great, a relationship can feel like you're floating in the clouds. But, since we're only human, not every moment can be ideal. Ranging from small issues to major disagreements, there are bound to be occasional problems that arise in a relationship. Having issues or disagreeing isn't inherently a bad thing — there might even be benefits to arguing with your significant other. After all, it's very rare that two people are completely lined up on every little detail. So, while disagreements or arguments are inevitable, there are positive ways to approach these issues.


Learning how to have healthy disagreements is one of the best skills in a relationship; while it may not always seem like it, you really can discuss issues without the situation blowing up into a fight. In fact, life and relationship expert, speaker, and author Cheyenne Bostock has been teaching women how to cultivate healthier relationships for years. These expert tips can be applied to any relationship and situation to discuss issues in a productive way.

Pencil in a time to chat

When you have an issue in the relationship or something that your partner did, bringing it up out of the blue can feel like you're blindsiding the other person. Your partner might not be in the right headspace to discuss an issue and that lack of mental clarity might mean a less productive discussion. "Setting up a designated time to talk helps ensure that you have your significant other's undivided attention," Cheyenne Bostock explains. Ask your partner in advance if you can sit down and talk about something that has been bothering you or has been on your mind. This way, you'll both be able to set aside time to address the issue.


You can also have recurring designating times to discuss issues if you regularly want to discuss what's on your mind. "Having a set day/time on the schedule helps avoid any misunderstandings, any clashes in schedule, or any excuses that may get in the way of addressing the issue at hand," Bostock says. "Choose a time that is convenient for the both of you and doesn't conflict with work or any other previously scheduled activities." For example, you could sit down every Sunday night and discuss the previous week and how you can be better for each other going into the next week.

Ask your partner for permission

Along with setting a time to talk, you should make sure your partner is in a place to discuss issues. "Checking in emotionally helps put your partner at ease, which makes it easier for them to open up and engage in meaningful conversation," says Cheyenne Bostock. "It's important to ask questions and get their permission on whether or not this is a good time to interact with them." After a long, stressful day at work, you or your partner might not be in the mood to discuss something so heavy. Pushing to talk about your issues at that moment might lead to an even bigger issue. They may be too stressed to have a productive conversation.


"There may be a pressing matter on your heart and mind that you really want to get off your chest, but if the person you are speaking to is emotionally unavailable at the moment, they might not be able to give you the feedback you want," Bostock adds. Those raised levels of stress or other lower emotions may lead your partner to lash out or not be as receptive to the main issue at hand.

Respect privacy in the relationship

Though you might spend a significant amount of time with each other, especially if you live together, respecting the right to privacy is essential in a healthy relationship. "Respecting each other's privacy is a sign of love, trust, and consideration; the opposite is a surefire way to cause a fight in the relationship," Cheyenne Bostock explains. "When privacy is violated for whatever reason, it lowers the trust and makes the other person feel unsafe. Causing them to want to retreat and find refuge, anywhere but near you. If there's an issue that you want to address with your significant other, go directly to the source to get the information."


Creating a space in which both parties feel comfortable and able to open up is important to have a healthy relationship. But it's also important when it comes to disagreements and bringing up potential issues. You want your partner to be able to trust you so they don't feel attacked any time you bring up issues but also feel comfortable enough to share their perspective. There's also a matter of keeping some parts of your relationship private. If you routinely run to friends, family, or coworkers about potential issues before going to your partner, they may feel less inclined to discuss problems with you for fear it'll be leaked to other people.

Be clear with your words

A lot of confusing and overwhelming emotions can arise when bringing up an issue. But it's important to stay on task and on topic. "Talking about relationship issues can be draining, overwhelming, and downright stressful, and it's counterproductive to engage in an endless conversation about problems that have no resolution," Cheyenne Bostock offers. Going off your main point and bringing up a ton of unrelated or different issues can also make your partner feel piled on. They may feel attacked and get more defensive, leading to the main issue not getting addressed or solved.


But Bostock has a tip for staying more focused on the important issues. "To avoid talking in circles for hours on end, make a list of the points you want to address and get right to them. Once you've communicated the points, give them a chance to respond. Once you've come to a resolution, conclude the discussion for the day." Following this simple process can ensure you get right to the problem that was originally bothering you. Any other issues can be discussed at a separate time.

Avoid talking during work hours

When there's a major issue that needs to be addressed, it can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. And as difficult as it may be to put the discussion off, waiting is probably for the best. "Life can be challenging, especially when balancing work, relationships, and family," explains Cheyenne Bostock. "Finding the right time to have an important conversation with your significant other is key to making the most progress. The best time to talk to your significant other will be when their mind is clear and their emotions are present. Preferably during a time during off hours where you can have their undivided attention."


During the day, most people find themselves focused on work and getting through tasks before the workday ends. Trying to fit an important discussion while also trying to work will only lead to having half of their attention. It can lead to them not having their focus on work, which can put more stress on their job. But it also means they're not giving the issue the proper amount of attention either. Plus, having a serious conversation through text or on the phone is rarely a good idea. Instead, set aside the time to talk in person when there is nothing else vying for either of your attentions.