It eventually happens in every relationship, no matter how much you love your partner. What started out as a simple disagreement has ballooned into a knock-down, drag-out fight, and the person you love most in the world has made you so angry that you don’t care how badly your words hurt them.
Disagreements are a natural part of life. If everyone agreed all the time, life would be painfully boring. But disagreements don’t always have to escalate into hurtful fights.
Over the next couple of posts, I will explore why couples fight, how to fight effectively, and some fun ideas for making up!
The answer to the question of “Why do couples fight?” isn’t what you might think. Arguments may start over something as trivial as a lost T.V. remote or something as important as a forgotten birthday. But what gets your blood pumping and elevates your anger is not what you’re arguing about – it’s how you’re arguing. When there is a break down in communication, that’s when tempers flare.
When your lover accuses you of doing something wrong, it’s natural to feel defensive. You may feel like your partner isn’t listening to you (which they probably aren’t, because they’re feeling the same way you are) and respond by trying harder to get your point across. Unfortunately, this means that you’re not listening closely to what your partner is saying. See the problem there? Suddenly, both of you are talking and neither one is listening!
What makes us become so defensive in the first place? Fear. It could be the fear of being wrong, the fear of getting in trouble, or even the fear of losing the person you love. Fear isn’t always a rational reaction, so don’t beat yourself up if you have what some people (maybe even your lover) call “silly” fears.
What you do with that fear, however, is totally up to you. Your body will react to fear on its own – that’s out of your control. When you feel threatened, your brain releases a rush of adrenaline, gearing you up for a fight. But this is where you mind has to hit the breaks. Take a few deep breaths (this will actually help you think more clearly, by delivering more oxygen to your brain). Give yourself a moment to consider why you feel threatened. Think about what you want to say to your partner, then prepare yourself to listen – really listen.
Next time: How to fight effectively.
See Part Two Here