Couples Therapy: When Your Relationship is One Big Argument
What if those skies stay cloudy? How do you know if you’re working too hard at your relationship? Read on for tips on whether or not your relationship is struggling and how to stop fighting all the time.
Signs your relationship is probably not meant to be
1. You’re working hard to fix things, but not seeing a similar amount of effort coming from your partner’s side.
Making change isn’t easy, but if you’re consistently noticing that you’re putting in the effort and the other person isn’t, it’s not a good sign. You both need to make the commitment to your relationship if you want it to be a happy one.
2. You’re unhappy more often than not.
Working hard at the relationship shouldn’t feel like arduous labor. If the amount of time you’re enjoying your relationship is less than the time you’re spending to fix what’s wrong with it, you might be throwing good after bad.
3. Your fights are hardly ever productive conflicts.
Fights don’t necessarily ruin relationships, but not resolving them can. A productive disagreement is an important type of communications and is better than bottling in emotions until you explode with pent-up frustration. And not every conflict is resolved easily. Sometimes your fights may last for a while. But if all your conflicts are mean-spirited or condescending, you’re not going down a healthy path.
Ways to stop the arguing
It’s always good to end on a positive note. What are some things you can try to repair your relationship?
1. Make it about you.
We all know the “blame-game” is a two-way ticket to unhappiness. If you can focus on how you feel rather than whatever your partner did, you can avoid prompting her to retaliate rather than listen. It’s also a good exercise for you to find out what’s really bothering you.
2. Go to bed angry.
Sometimes this can be a hard one to do! An elbow or knee pressing (even gently) against you can be very irritating when that limb belongs to someone you’re mad at! But just like we’re often advised not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, it’s better not to fight when you’re sleepy. Sleep on the couch if you can’t sleep next to your partner while you’re both grumpy. When you’re tired, everything seems worse than it really is. Things will not be magically perfect in the morning, but it’s much easier to solve them with a clear head.
4. Accept responsibility.
If you expect your partner to admit to an irritating behavior or habit, be prepared to do the same. Perhaps even admit to it before he brings it up! While sometimes a fight may seem like a battle, this tip helps by exposing our own weaknesses. Nothing works like showing empathy and understanding to turn conflicts into conversations.
5. Consider couples therapy.
Many people wait until they are miserable before they see a therapist because they view this as a “last resort.” But why wait until you’ve lost all that you used to enjoy about your relationship? That would be like only starting to brush and floss when you’ve already lost most of your teeth! Consider couples therapy as preventative, not a sign the end is near.