Getting stuck in the same old patterns in your relationship can be challenging. It doesn’t matter if you and your partner love each other because when couples get frustrated with the same argument over and over, it gets really hard to feel loving. Learn about some common mistakes couples find themselves making, and discover how to decrease the fighting and increase the understanding.
We Can Get Stuck in Patterns That Harm Our Relationships
I was working recently with a couple that loves each other. Each one was trying to hold on to the amazing connection they felt when they were loving with each other. Only when they came in they felt separate, not loving, and stuck in what they always feel stuck in. This is what I call their pattern.
Some people call this system of relating when there is a problem a habit, or a routine. I don’t think it matters how it is labeled, but I do think it matters what it creates for the couple. This system is how two people communicate with each other when their feelings get hurt.
Consider the How You Solve Problems in Your Relationship
All couples have their own unique way of hashing out problems. Some people do it by talking loudly with each other and then escalating into a big fight, separating for a time and then inching their way back together again.
Other people just shut down and don’t talk with the other and wait until the feelings dissipate and then begin to communicate carefully until the issues have faded into the background. They just move on.
What Happens When You and Your Partner Get Upset?
If you and your partner do these things, or if you have your own way of being when the fire between you begins, this is your unique pattern. It is a combination of you expressing your hurt feelings, and your partner expressing theirs, and it usually happens at the same time.
We all have our own individual way of expressing ourselves when our feelings get hurt. Think about what you do. Here’s what I do: I get mad, and before I know it I feel warmth all through my body, and my head gets hot and I forget everything except that I am mad. And if I start talking when I am in this state it is never pretty. It’s always directed at someone who hurt my feelings, most often my husband.
One of the Most Important Relationship Patterns to Fix is Blowing Up When Angry
I know I do not communicate well when I am upset. That is why I have been building skills designed to calm me down and I use them to get calm before I start talking about what happened to me. I have learned that if I start talking about my pain, while I am upset, I will make a mess that I have to clean up later.
Before I started building these calming skills I used to blow up. My blow up would incite my husband to blow up and then we would have a fight. This is common among two people. This was our pattern. Every couple has a pattern of how you both express your points when you are upset, and we usually just classify these events as a “fight.”
But a “fight” is too simple of an explanation. There is a whole lot more at stake, like how you feel about something and what happened to you when you got your feelings hurt. We really need understanding and that’s why it escalates.
Changing How You Solve Problems in Your Relationship Goes a Long Way Towards Improving Your Communication Patterns
But if you could just find a way to alter this one part of your relationship, change one thing about your pattern, the rest of your relationship will be easy. You see it’s the pattern that keeps you feeling things will never change and you will always feel these feelings of emptiness and not being understood and lonely. These are the hurt feelings that people grow tired of and can’t take anymore.
They don’t stop loving the other. They just can’t change the way they communicate when things are not going well. Like that couple I talked about earlier. They love each other and yet both of them are exhausted trying to get their points made and having the other understand them. They both fought so hard they could not imagine that the fight would ever cease. They both gave up the fight. I see the fight as a pattern, an important one, but one that can be altered.
Focus On Changing How YOU Deal with Problems, and Your Partner Will Follow On Their Own
What is your pattern with your beloved? Can you see yourself doing something different? I saw that I needed to control what I did. Notice I am not even talking about my partner. His growth and his changes are up to him.
But I can tell you this: the moment you do something different, your partner will join you, and then you both have done something amazing for the relationship. You have disrupted your pattern, and now you have what you need to thrive. You have something better.
Need a Helping Hand with Asking for What You Want?
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn about how to break out of destructive patterns in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you develop a better relationship pattern for solving conflict as it arises. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.