If you’ve been fighting with your partner over the same issue, you’re not alone.
The most common fights couples have are traditionally over money, sex, quality time and chores, to name a few
Not only can repetitive arguments be emotional draining for each person involved, it can eventually lead to distance, discontent and a slow and unfortunate end to a relationship.
If you’re frustrated and at a loss of what to do, remember this.
1. It’s “normal” to argue
Barring that there is no verbal, psychological or physical abuse in the relationship, a degree of conflict in a relationship is “normal.” Conflict means that you and your partner are separate individuals with different feelings, thoughts, perceptions, expectations and experiences. Conflict shows your differences.
2. Remain positive
While it can be quite discouraging when the same issue is brought up repeatedly, if you allow negativity to take over, not only will you take things personal, but you’re more likely to sink into a hole of a “I don’t care” mentality.
This can be far more harmful than the issue itself. If you find yourself in this place, step back, pause and look at the big picture.
3. Respect differences
When couples are in a negative cycle, they get caught in the “blame game.” Then the resentment towards the other partner stems from not the problem itself, but how the problem is being addressed. Mainly the lack of respect.
So try to respect each other and your differences even when you don’t agree.
There will some things you “agree to disagree.” In that case, respecting (accepting) your partner’s opposing view will be far less exhausting than trying to change his mind.
4. Move towards “the middle”
When couples argue, especially over emotionally charged issues (like sex and money), they polarize. Polarization happens when each partner holds their ground on what they believe to be “right”, resulting in polar opposite positions.
The main problem with this is the issue at hand gets lost in the “I am right, you are wrong” stance.
If you’re going through this, try to move toward the middle and get away from “who’s right.” Instead, step back and ask what are we trying to achieve as a couple? What is the goal? Is it to get chores done? Spend more time together? Improve intimacy? Try to work together.
5. Seek understanding
Conflict in a relationship points to something deeper in a relationship. It represents the couple and individual’s feelings, needs, values and dreams.
Try to seek understanding.
What may be your partner’s deeper needs? Is it a need for partnership? A need for togetherness? A need for communication?
If you’re at a point that you can’t talk about these issues, learn healthy communication skills.
Take a communication class with your partner. See a couples therapist. Go to a retreat together.
When partners “listen to understand” and remain respectful, many things can shift.
Not only will conflicts subside and frustrations reduce, but intimacy improves. Intimacy is that feeling of closeness that we all strive to have.