Repeated arguments in marriage are a fact of life. There are just those little (or big) fights that happen over and over and never seem to be resolved.
Conflict happens in any time two people have to socialize with each other and no one knows this better than couples who have been together for quite some time. Couples, whether old or new, can become stuck in a frustrating pattern of bickering over little meaningless things.
A large majority of couples have recurring arguments and if you had one of them, you know it can become exasperating for everyone involved. All fights are exhausting, for both parties involved, but it can be excessively tiring since these fights are counterproductive. The same issues get repeated again and again.
Little Irritations Grow
In many relationships though, there is an underlying problem, which is perpetually annoying the partner or distorting their expectations. Focusing on these will make it harder and harder for a person to establish control on themselves. Now before you start on these issues, take into consideration the fact that a variety of problems occur because people are different. One of the most basic factors; often overlooked and disregarded.
Our differences are what make us click with someone, but they are also the very things that will start to grate and get on the nerves of someone over time. When you are with someone different, you will want to take a look at their similarities. You will want your partner to be like you too. Why? This creates a bond, and a feeling of kinship, making us think they understand us as well.
Unfortunately, understanding can only be reached between two people when one party is willing to give and if there is not a balanced amount of give and take going on, there is going to be conflict. When faced with one of your recurring arguments, try extended understanding towards your partner or spouse. You know you are in trouble with your partner when the urge to be right and win the argument matters more to you. Breaking free of this cycle is going to be hard, but it can be done.
Many people don’t realize it, but these fights easily escalate and delve into the ego, feeding ones need to be right or better than the person they are communicating with. In order to prove a point or get their message across, a person can appear extremely rude and uncouth which can definitely make it harder for them to be likeable. Now imagine that person is your significant other and you begin to see how this becomes counterproductive and combative quickly.
No one likes being patronized or talked down upon and for couples this can get extremely frustrating. Love, support, empathy, warmth and more are all necessary to improve a scenario, even if you are stuck on the same issue. When handling these situations, take the following into account:
- Give up ‘Winning’ – No one wins when you fight continuously, particularly over the same issue. Learn to give up the need to be always right or to prove yourself. This only serves to damage the relationship and increase the resentment between you two.
- Asking Questions – Instead of trying to yell, justify yourself or respond to the argument, ask your partner open ended questions. This will help to clarify the issue or bring out the underlying problem. For example: Instead of saying ‘Why are you yelling about this?’ you could rephrase the question and ask them ‘Why is this important?’
- Listening and Understanding – When you ask your questions, listen actively. Do not give an answer. Just listen, absorb what they have to say and give an appropriate response. For example: ‘I wasn’t aware I made you feel scared when I am not home on time. I never intended to make you feel that way. I would like to know how you would you like things to be.’
Once a person opens up, talk the issue out and reach a mutual understanding. Don’t have a one sided conversation where you apologize for everything and then give in to the terms dictated to you. This might promise to be a good temporary truce, but it can continue to breed resentment, which will emerge later on and before you know it, you end up fighting over the same issue again. Aim for a mutual agreement where you both can consent to resolving your issues diplomatically.
The only way you can break the cycle is if you focus on improving not only your level of communication, but your level of understanding as well. Accept your significant other the way they are and embrace their differences. Find balance between both your personality traits and qualities and you will be able to see a change as well.
In the end I want you to know that all couples have that “thing”. The thing that is never resolved and keeps coming up over and over. Please don’t ignore this! A big benefit of couples counseling is to have a third party come in and assist you through the process to resolution. Call today for more information.