Want to fight less? Let’s explore what happens when we fight and what you and your loved one can do to break the pattern of conflict.
Many of us crave to be in love with our special person. A lot of us grow up believing that when we find the right partner our lives will be wonderful. So finding the right mate often takes a lot of energy and because it’s so important often times we need proof inside ourselves that we have made the right choice.
But finding the right person is no guarantee that you will be happy or be able to feel love. These are skills that many people have yet to learn but insist that the mate provide them just the same.
To Fight Less, Change What You Do When Upset
So how do we get close to the person that we have chosen to be with? I believe it starts with ourselves, not our mates. We may look at them and feel a distance when we get our feelings hurt, and in those moments we might even think to ourselves, is this the right person for me?
And talking about this experience from the outside and being a therapist, I would to tell you, “Yes.” Let me explain. When we get our feelings hurt, most people will feel terrible inside and do something about it. Some of us lash out—I am in this category—and some of us build a wall around ourselves so we won’t get hurt anymore.
The actions both people take in a relationship are the skills and defenses that they learned as a little person to take care of themselves. They have been very useful in the growing up process. But these skills and defenses are now being used on our partners. They don’t work well in a relationship.
Fighting Less Requires The Bravery to Be Vulnerable
I know it seems like I am skipping to the end. You might be saying to yourself, “I can’t let down my wall and suffer hurt,” or “I have to stand up for myself when I get my feelings hurt.”
Protecting yourself is important, so you may hesitate to lay down these traits right away. After all, they’re how we survived. However, I am not a fan of holding onto behaviors that could negatively impact the relationship, when others will be more helpful, more productive, and will begin to let you feel that love and happiness that you so crave.
You Can Fight Less By Taking Time to Stop and Think
So how do we do that? How do we begin to change? It’s best if you have a partner who you trust. And if you are not sure, you can adjust as you go. When we get our feelings hurt by someone we are in a relationship with it is more than likely they haven’t stopped loving us and—here’s the big one—they probably didn’t mean to hurt us at all. That’s the first thing to understand. The second thing is for you, who is reading this, to remember that you love them and you want the relationship to work.
This is different than believing if you get your feelings hurt, then it’s the wrong relationship. You put your mind in a favorable place and you give the person you love the benefit of the doubt.
To Fight Less and Feel More Connected, You Have to Stop and Breathe
You wonder if they meant to hurt you instead of assuming or lashing out when they do. You ask if how you interpreted the events is what they meant. Now in order to do these actions, you might have to step away from you protections and defenses. You might have to lay down your wall or hold on to your disappointment. Both of you must work together on this. Don’t blame each other for messing up. Everyone messes up. Be kind.
This is one way to feel more connected to your mate. Because when you are dropping deeper into your feelings at this level, you are feeling a connection and that is what you have been craving. You are now closer to your truth, you remember this one, the one where you are kind and loving and wonderful.
Want to Fight a Little Less and Let the Love Into Your Relationship?
Read a Book About Relationships
Get a little help with fighting less and with patching things up after a fight, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you argue less, connect better, and feel closer and more loved. 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.