Often when couples fight there is a whole swirl of emotions from each partner. And if it is a big argument then there might be a lot of distance between the two as each person soothes their hurt feelings.
It sometimes takes days or weeks for some couples to come back together again, and when they do it’s likely they don’t talk about what happened that tore them apart in the first place.
“What do couples fight about?” It’s not uncommon for couples to fight and argue with each other, so it’s natural to wonder why. As a couples counselor, I most often help people with communication issues.
People in relationships commonly argue about the same things. Although the way couples argue belongs to the two people who are in the relationship, the content of what they are arguing about is often the same.
Sometimes when we get our feelings hurt, we want to lash out at the one who caused us to feel bad. This is pretty common for some of us. I know it was for me.
I grew up in a household where my mother was overwhelmed and released her frustration by yelling at her children. I know she loved us, but as a child I learned that this is what you do when you don’t like something: you yell.
When we get mad at our mates, we fall into one of three different categories. We might yell or get mad and stomp around; we might stuff our feelings and not say anything; or we might simply leave.
Each of these methods express our disappointment with what happened. It’s likely that we learned these habits when we were young, and now that we are mixing it up with our partners, we use them often.
You may have heard the story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather told the grandson there are two wolves inside of him having a war. One is mean and angry. The other is kind and loving.
Curious the grandson asked, “Who will win?” Grandfather replied, “The one that I feed.”
I have heard this story a few times and every time I nod to myself that I too want to feed the right wolf. I want to be kind and loving, not angry and mean. And I bet if you are reading this right now you would agree with me.
Sometimes in life we are faced with difficult situations. This is the life all of us will encounter at some point. Many of us know hard experiences already.
Maybe a family member has died. Maybe you have had some cut offs in your life that you regret. These are big experiences that many of us will face.
But what do we do when we get seriously mad at our mate? Do you hold a grudge? Do you blame them and make them pay? Do you internalize your pain and think it is your fault?
Many of us got hurt during our childhood. And some of us were not able to talk about our pain to our parents or the people who cared for us. So when a young person gets hurt and there isn’t another person to help them, some of us turn toward our anger to get attention.
This is how I grew up. I got hurt, but didn’t have the skills to talk about what was bothering me, so I resorted to yelling at the person who hurt me. This is common when some of our needs are not met.
All of us in relationships will at one time or another hurt the ones we love. We probably don’t mean to do this, but it will happen. It happens because we are not in their heads, we are in our own, and we cannot ever really know how another person will take us until there is a reaction.
So, let’s say you get into a disagreement with the one you love and you say some things that are an exaggeration of what you really feel, but you are maybe so offended or mad that you just let the words and hurts fly.
This also happens in relationships. It also separates people into their own camps, away from each other, disconnected and both feeling terrible about what just happened.
Many of us in relationships get our feelings hurt. This is pretty normal and happens even when we love our partners. But some of us when we get our feelings hurt get really, really upset. I know I used to do that too.
When we get really upset, well we can’t think straight. Our minds narrow with maybe one thought. We got hurt and someone has to pay. This is common if we didn’t learn how to understand our hurt feelings.
I didn’t while growing up. There was a lot of yelling in my family and I grew up thinking that yelling was the way to solve things when upset. It works in a family of yellers, but most people don’t grow up this way.
Humans are very complex. We can be in two feelings at once. We can love our mates, and be extremely mad at them and we can feel both of these things together. That is how the mind works. All of our minds work this way.
It is very common to get our feelings hurt when we are in a relationship with someone we love. Loving a person requires us to move away from barriers we place around our heart. We push them aside and love deeply another person.
And because these barriers are not there to protect us, when we get our feelings hurt, we really, really hurt! There is no protection around the heart to keep the heart safe and that’s why it stings so deeply.