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Ask Anne: Relationship Advice
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Relationship Questions

Argumentative

I've been seeing a certain man for 6 months now. It's an unusual relationship for me in that he's so different from the men I used to date. Although we have some differences, we also have similarities in emotional makeup, goals, and outlook on life. Unfortunately we have one really large problem. Arguments. Our arguments tend to be over the smallest of things and blossom into a tempest that really tears us both apart. They seem to always start because I mention something that's been bothering me. It snowballs from there. Sometimes he brings his ex-wife into it, as in "She and I never argued like this. When we did, it was always about something important". I have to admit that in all my relationships, I've never argued like we do with the possible exception of the two period preceding my separation from my ex-husband. (BTW, we are both divorced. Me once, him twice.) In most of my previous relationships, voices were rarely raised and I was always able to defuse the situation by keeping my tone calm. In ours, this is not the case. In addition, during last night's argument, I stated that I felt that the frequency in which we were beginning to loudly argue (every 2-3 weeks)was becoming unhealthy. I was astounded when he said that he thought it was a perfectly normal amount. There is so much love, and so many good things that I'd hate to see the relationship crumble. We are both willing to work on it. We can't afford counseling at this point, even though we both realize that we need it. So I guess I have two questions. First, do you have any suggestions of where to go to find cheap or free counseling? Second, when does the frequency of arguing become unhealthy?

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