Constant fighting in a relationship can be exhausting. It can also be frustrating and disappointing. And there are many, many other emotions that might be felt too.
Constantly fighting in a relationship is just hard. And it makes the tender parts so few and far between that couples might be asking themselves if the relationship is even worth it. So why do couples do this?
What Causes Constant Fighting in a Relationship?
There are many reasons why relationships end up in a pattern of constant fighting. First it starts with each person. If each one started life by getting mad when they got upset, then it’s likely that this couple is simply doing what they have been training to do all their life.
Each partner is expressing what is not going well and they are each too busy telling the other what was done to them that they can’t hear each other. This makes for a huge amount of energy being exchanged, sometimes followed by harsh words and some cruel, mean, hateful statements.
Arguments About Arguments Can Distract From What’s Really Bothering Us
Then the couple might even argue about the mean and hateful statements that were said to them, instead of ever talking about what happened in the first place.
These patterns don’t lead to much resolution of problems. They just exacerbate the behaviors of arguing. And if there is not real understanding what feelings were hurt in the first place then there is no relief to be felt.
Constant Fighting and Lashing Out Buries the Message We Need Our Partner to Hear
When we get our feelings hurt, which always precedes an angry outburst, those hurt feelings are the most important thing to be able to express. If you are busy telling your partner in an aggressive way how they hurt you and how unfair it was, chances are they will not hear what you are saying.
Sure they will hear the words and the tone, but they will also feel blamed for doing something to upset you. No one likes to feel blame so when someone points a finger and says, “You did…” The one being blamed might easily deny they did anything wrong, or they may suddenly feel validated doing whatever they did and go on to defend their having done it.
Then there is another argument and the original feeling that got hurt in the first place gets missed completely.
How To Reduce Fighting In Your Relationship
So, how do you break the cycle? Both of you are not one mind. There are two individuals in the relationship. Who ever is capable of taking a breath and not reacting when something happens, and only you and your partner will know which one is better at this. That person has to get into the driver’s seat and steer the relationship to the next level.
That person who can put his or her feelings aside for just a moment while the other is having a meltdown must do so. This gets easier as you practice it. When the person melting down gets to understand what has happened to them, they can communicate that to their partner. If their partner listens, they will calm down. Then there is time for the next person to begin.
I know this is possible because I am the meltdown person. My husband, who got into the driver’s seat a few years ago, now just sails us around smoothly. And as he does this, my meltdowns have pretty much disappeared. I have also learned to control myself when I hear things that I might do to hurt him. We work with each other, instead of against each other.
Look. Anything is better than constant fighting in a relationship. Why not try something else, like I did? What have you got to lose?
Get Help Meeting Needs in Your Relationship
Want to Know Even More About Eliminating Constant Fighting in a Relationship?
Get a little help with fighting less and communicating your feelings less confrontationally, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you fight less, feel more understood, and free you from that frequent and uncomfortable conflict. 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.