Whatever it is you are arguing about (the list can be long) how to load the dishwasher right, if the goldfish can go in with the sandwich, how much we should spend on the home improvement, how we should discipline our child, you didn’t take out the trash!, why we don’t have a budget? Sound familiar? I am sure you can add your own items to this list.
But when it gets heated and it seems like you are fighting over these petty, or sometimes important things (like the kids), but you are bewildered as to why it sends you spiraling, understand that it’s not actually about those things.
Those topics are certainly problems to be solved and need our attention, but when it starts to spiral, it’s no longer about those things. It is now your relationship that is hinging on the problem. It becomes a signal of love lost and we react.
Look beneath the surface and you’ll find some form of:
I feel alone in this. The burden is all on my shoulders and I can’t seem to count on you to help. I don’t have a partner.
I have no voice, no say, I don’t feel equal to you or heard in this. My opinion doesn’t matter.
I can’t get it right, no matter what I do, you see me as incapable, incompetent.
I can’t win. No matter how hard I try, or how hard I work, you only ever see the worst in me.
It’s usually these experiences that underly the fights. When we can tune into and become aware of these feelings and share them vulnerably with one another, we can find our way toward connection, and only then can we pull out of these spirals and get back to solving problems effectively.
It isn’t uncommon for couples to get stuck in these negative patterns and struggle to find their way out. If this sounds like your relationship, our counselors are here to help. Contact us.
Wishing you love and happiness always,