Unless you're living in a fairytale, arguments in long-term relationships are inevitable.
But a relationship expert has revealed how to nip these disagreements in the bud before you say something you later regret.
According to Hal Runkel, you can take the heat out of a fight with a single word: "ouch".
According to Runkel, we often use the personal information we've gathered about a loved one against them in the heat of the moment.
If our partner does this to us, our instinct is often to fire a hurtful home-truth back, which can escalate the situation.
"When [you're] in conflict, inevitably [you] will say something that hurts the other person using the 'inside information' that you have on them or that they have on you," he told Business Insider.
But if we say something like "ouch, that hurt" instead, it changes the course of the dialogue.
"That conversation —which was a very familiar path, that fight — is now a totally different path because one of you chose to actually get vulnerable," Runkel explained.
"It wasn't a step of pushing [your partner] away. It was a step of inviting [your partner] in by saying: 'You know what? I am open enough to you that you can actually hurt me. So now how about we talk to each other as if we actually love each other?'"
Next time you feel your temper rising, give this a go.