Boy saying stop fighting to his parents

Arguing is Pulling Us Apart

When couples handle their differences badly they typically end up throwing “hand grenades” at each other. In other words, they do everything that is unhelpful in terms of resolving their differences and inevitably end up fighting, or worse. This results in the issues going underground even though outwardly each person seemingly appears to have moved on.

Despite couples making a conscious effort to search for the right answers to resolve their conflicts, most difficult conversations become strangled by people’s thinking rather than their actions.

Break the Cycle

Until the warring couple approach their issues with calmness and an intention to listen, plus respect for both self and the other in combination with a preparedness for open and honest communication, couples will remain positional and deadlocked

Until the warring couple approach their issues with calmness and an intention to listen, plus respect for both self and the other in combination with a preparedness for open and honest communication, couples will remain positional and deadlocked

When couples do not talk with each other, it is almost certain that they will become entrenched in their positions. Each person increasingly becomes sure that that they are right and the other person is most definitely wrong.

In essence, people become polarized and should these conflicts continue in this manner the relationship eventually begins to breakdown.

These difficult conversations are typically not about getting the information right, rather they are about differences in each person’s perceptions, interpretations, values and world view on the matter.

One of the main problems with arguing is that it inhibits a person’s ability to learn and understand how the other person makes sense of the problems and situation. Rather than helping people understand and resolve their differences, arguing results in a distancing between the couple.

A major reason why many couples attend relationship counselling is to get help in containing their points of difference, and to stop the harmful battle of warring words and innuendos (hand grenades) that couples throw at each other. Only then can a more constructive and respectful approach to resolving their problems occur.

The containment of conflict within a counselling session can be a transformative force for warring couples. In counselling, the couple is able to explore and understand their own and the others’ values, world views, experiences, assumptions and conclusions.

As a result, new ground is created where the couple is drawn together over their points of difference rather than being torn apart by them. This process may not solve the problems faced by the couple, but it is an important first step.

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