There is a way to stop fighting with your partner after work.

Oh, we’ve all been there.

It’s mid-week, it’s been a crap day at work, you’ve tossed off the gym to come home and watch Netflix, you’re feeling grumpy…and then your partner gets home. Unless he’s bearing a double-cheese pizza and bottle of red wine, then you simply cannot deal with him tonight.

What next?

Negotiating that precious time from stepping off the train and into your slippers all comes down to technique.

Do it right, and you have a lovely evening of rest and relaxation before hitting the hay. Do it wrong? And you’ve got hours and hours of slammed dishwasher drawers and black stares to deal with.


Fear not: The Harvard Business Review has heard your bad-day prayers, and has penned an article about how to avoid arguing with your spouse when they get home from work.

(NOTE: These rules also apply to flatmates, parents, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, next door neighbors, and kindly visitors who dare cross your threshold.)

Tip #1: You need quiet time, and they just really want a chat.

Lots of things can happen in one day. Your day can be a winner, with great meetings, a happy boss, and a quiet train carriage. Or it can be a solid loser, with half a latte down your top and a German backpacker with an acoustic guitar on your bus.

Either way, your needs upon arriving home will be different every day. And so will your partner’s: so appreciate the difference in your moods. It’s OK to be in a bad mood after a long day – but remember, there’s nothing a warm bath and glass of wine can’t soothe.

Ways to avoid a fight with your partner? Get in the bath. With a glass of wine. Take a sip. Repeat.

Tip #2: A good day, doesn't always equal a good mood.

Some days, we just bounce back faster than others, you know? You might have had a shockingly bad meeting with your client, followed by a useless session at the gym, but overall - you're doing OK. Life's pretty good. But then on other days, it's impossible to shake that bad mood.

According the Harvard Business Review, "In practice, this means that someone who had an objectively horrible day at work may be in a good mood by the time they step out of the office, yet someone who encountered fewer challenges may still feel their impact well into the evening."

Look familiar? Try our tips to cooling off after work.

Tip #3: You come from different backgrounds. Appreciate that.

Do you remember the first time you met your boyfriend's parents? Perhaps had dinner at their home? I'll bet you noticed a few quirks about their routine. As strange as it may seem as an adult, we carry forward our habits installed in us from a young age - and they are wildly different from home to home.


Indeed, I remember at the end of the day, my mother and father sitting on our veranda, sharing a glass of wine, and discussing their day. When I moved in with my partner, I expected the same routine.

"....spouses and partners may have significantly different interpretations and expectations about what it means to 'come home'," writes Ed Batista, "and how people are expected to interact on such an occasion."


Tip #4: Figure out what you want. (And yes, that might be chocolate.)

Have a conversation about what you enjoy at the end of the day. Exchange your habits and preferences. Maybe you just really need to come home, take off your bra, and scroll Instagram for a good hour before commencing human interaction. And that's fine.

Communication is crucial, and we often overlook these 'small things' when building a relationship together.

"But while couples may take the time to understand and evaluate their respective life goals and philosophies before embarking on a shared existence together," writes Batista, "they rarely stop to think about the more mundane aspects of domestic life and what it means to build a cross-cultural relationship in those domains."

You share a home. Share your habits, too!

Tip #5: Keep a lid on it. 

It's easy to see your partner as your very own personal therapist/ punching bag/ personal chef/ slave. But the truth is, you need to reign in your emotional control at the end of the day.

Whilst sharing is completely healthy and crucial to a good relationship, bombarding your partner with all of your feelings as soon as they walk in is overwhelming. Use your commute home to chill out and problem solve your problems.

Batista explains: "We tend to approach our spouses and partners with the expectation that we can just 'be ourselves,' without worrying about how we’ll be perceived or our impact on them."

Carry through those killer interpersonal skills from the office to home. Listen, be aware of their needs, and for goodness sake - don't yell at them for more chocolate during the commercial break. They have feelings too.