A common reason couples seek counseling is that when they try to discuss certain subjects, it leads to an argument. So why do we argue so much? What ensues is mutual hurt, anger and frustration. Over time the relationship feels distant. If arguing persists for a period of time, passion, trust, love and commitment can deteriorate! An experienced marriage and family therapist can intervene and explore the underlying reasons for the discord. Arguments may only be a symptom of problems in the relationship. It’s similar to peeling back the layers of an onion to discover the causes of the hurt, frustration and anger.
Here are 4 things to be more mindful of that can help begin the repair process in your relationship:
The Need to Be Right
The need to prove to your partner how right you are and wrong he or she is: The goal is to win, rather than to understand the other person. One person is already formulating their response while the other person is speaking. Being right becomes more important than the happiness and of an empathic, loving relationship.
How You Communicate
The style of communication: Sarcasm, belittling, contempt, or shutting down (stonewalling) has become too frequent. Phrases such as “you always,” “you’re just,” or profane language has replaced love and understanding. One’s tone of voice can express negative thoughts as well. Criticizing character or worth leads to an erosion of the relationship.
Lack of Communication
Expecting your partner to always know what you’re feeling and needing: Frequently, people feel that the other person should be telepathic and that they shouldn’t have to express their needs . They feel wounded and angry and tend to act out or withdraw. Since we are not always mind readers, communicating our feelings and need in a loving way is important. Of course they are many situations where one does try to communicate and their partner ignores them, or tells them they shouldn’t feel a certain way. They lecture the other person by saying how mistaken they are and how their own ideas, solutions, and feelings are the valid ones
Mismatching Styles of Communication
The way your family of origin communicates. How you saw your parents communicate deeply affects how we relate to each other. They are our role models and teach us how to resolve conflict and love one another.
I have been practicing as a licensed individual counselor and marriage and family therapist at the Gwinnett Center for Individual and Marital Counseling for 35 years. As a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and licensed in Georgia, I continually strive to improve client care, and am cognizant of the impact a therapist can make on their clients. It is an honor to work with individuals on such a personal level and I take that responsibility seriously. Having been married for over 35 years, I am aware of the satisfaction and joy a loving relationship can provide. Sharing our children’s lives has also been so rewarding!