I see a lot of couples, and it is quite common in marriage, to get into fights about nothing. It seems you are fighting all the time about little things that after a while, you don’t even remember how it started. Usually when a couple finds themselves fighting a lot, there are issues beneath the surface that are not being addressed. In this article I will discuss one common theme among fighting couples.
Think of the saying, “the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference”. What does this mean? When there is love and when there is hate, there is connection. When there is indifference there is no connection. To further explain, if I can push your buttons and get a reaction out of you, then I know you care. I know I can get to you, reach you somehow. But if I get no reaction, if you are indifferent, that is a whole other story. In relationships, we all need to know that our partner cares. We want to feel we matter in the lives of one another. So what happens if I am feeling like I don’t matter?
Isolation is among the most painful of human experiences. The most severe punishment for inmates is to be put in isolation. To be ignored, or to feel alone, this is what we ward against. We are wired for human connection.
So now think about your intimate relationship. In order to feel connected, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable. To feel in tune with our partner, we must open ourselves up to be seen. Well this can be very scary. So what might we do instead? If I don’t want to be vulnerable, but I still want to be connected, I’ll fight.
Often when couples want to feel noticed, cared for, not ignored, instead of being vulnerable to get this from their partner, they will start a fight. This way I don’t have to be exposed, but I still know you care about me because you are reacting to me.
This is an important concept to understand if you are going to make changes to improve the health of your relationship. Many times couples are not aware that this is why they are fighting. They want desperately to be connected, but don’t want to take the necessary and vulnerable risks to do so, so they connect in a protected way, by fighting.
So how do you break out of this? Awareness is the first step. To begin to look at the fights from a different angle. See their purpose, to connect. Then see the consequences of connecting in this way. While it may protect you, it deteriorates the foundation of the relationship, it does damage. So by understanding that you are seeking to connect with each other, you can begin to take the courageous steps of being vulnerable with your partner. You and your partner have to work together to create a safe environment where you can share openly with each other without fear of judgement, criticism or rejection. Once you feel that sense of emotional safety, you can then communicate in ways that build intimacy and connection without damaging the relationship.
If you are struggling to make these changes in your relationship, marriage counseling can help.
Building strong, secure foundations
Premarital counseling is an important part of preparing for your marriage whether it’s to deal with current problems in the relationship, strengthen your relationship or deepen your understanding of one another.
With premarital counseling, not only can you strengthen your relationship and deepen your connection now, but you can learn relationship skills that will help your relationship last a lifetime.
Premarital counseling is so important in helping you discuss difficult topics before marriage that you might not think about in your excitement to plan your wedding. Marriage is not just about how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. Premarital counseling will highlight your strengths and create awareness of areas that need attention.
Some couples choose premarital counseling as a way to resolve some difficult issues that are getting in the way of having a satisfying relationship. Dealing with these issues before marrying can help the transition and adjustment periods of marriage go a lot smoother.
During premarital counseling, you will learn how your own and your partners childhood experiences impact your adult relationship. You will learn communication tools that you can use now and throughout the course of your relationship to deal with difficulties that come up along the way. You will discuss your values and beliefs about money, children, extended family, quality time, career, intimacy, hobbies, trust, connection, while learning the negotiation skills necessary to navigate these areas of life effectively. You will learn how to create an emotionally safe space for you to turn to one another to stay intimately connected and resolve and repair moments of disconnection that are inevitable in any relationship.
In the state of Tennessee, the standard fee for your marriage license is $98.50. With four hours of premarital counseling, your fee is reduced to $38.50. Below is the link for the form to fill out once your have completed premarital counseling.
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