Relationship Myth # 1: Fighting a lot means we are in trouble!

Relationship Myth # 1: Fighting a lot means we are in trouble!

One of the most common reasons for fighting between my husband and I are sweets. Yes, you’ve heard it right! It’s not money, or parenting issues, or even household chores and some logistical problems. It’s just those god damn sweets, like chocolates and cookies.

Let me explain.

We like eating healthy food and I sometimes bake zucchini muffins made from mostly healthy ingredients, like coconut flour, coconut oil, and, oh well, zucchinis. These little muffins are supposed to satisfy your sweet tooth ( which both of us have) while not causing diabetes from the first bite. Sometimes, I add some dairy free dark chocolate chips to the muffins. Well, more like most of the time, but that’s not important here. What’s important is that I buy a bag of chocolate chips, use some of it for the muffin dough, and then hide it some place where my husband can’t find it (per my husband’s request), so that I can reuse them during the next baking batch. So guess what happened this time? I am about to start baking muffins and realize that the chocolate chips are gone. Since I only bake them once every couple of months, I thought maybe I hid them elsewhere, so I looked everywhere and did not find anything. When I asked my husband later that evening, he innocently stated that he ate chocolate chips “long time ago” and I shouldn’t make it a big deal. I will spear you of the details of what happened next, but the moral of the story is this: all couples fight! (also don’t mess with my chocolate!!!!!)

Fighting is normal, expected, and even healthy for a couple, despite of how many weeks or years they have been together. Despite what most couples think, fighting and arguments do not mean that the relationship is in trouble, by any means.

Moreover, we all know by now that perfect relationships do not exist, right (Even if we really want them to)? As I mentioned in my book 5 Step Connection Guide To Your Dream Marriage, if you are looking for a perfect relationship, you are in deep trouble.

When choosing a long term partner, you inevitably choose a set of unresolvable problems! So, instead of feeling defeated and discouraged about having fights and arguments with your partner ( which will always be there because you are two different people with two completely different upbringings), I encourage you to learn how to argue successfully. That is in a way that provides you both with an opportunity to feel closer to each other instead of pushing your partner further away.

Here are 3 simple steps you can try next time you start arguing:

Step # 1: learn how to be okay to not being right all the time.

Our automatic default mode when we feel wronged and misunderstood is to defend ourselves. So, partners start telling each other why they are right and why their parented need to believe them. In doing so, you are missing an important point- none of this crap about who is right and who is wrong matters. Be wiser and just listen, without judgment, justification, and defensiveness!

Step # 2: Learn how to lead with curiosity instead of preconceived filter of the reality.

Most of the couples I work with  are sure that they know their partners, and therefore know how they feel and what they think. When this couple gets into an argument, they get stuck every time because there is absolutely no room for exploration and questions about important matters. They forget that their “filters” on how they see their significant others prevent them from accessing empathy and perspective taking. No empathy- no understanding!

Step # 3: Do not make it about yourself- focus on your partner’s problem and pain for a moment first.

This is a Big one!

Let me explain.

When your boyfriend or spouse says something like:” I feel like we are just roommates… our relationship is super logistical and emotionally disconnected”, restrain yourself from explaining why this is not the case or why your partner has a part in this problem as well. Instead, be curious. Listen, validate, even just restate what your spouse just shared to make sure you understand. Tap into your empathy for a moment- what gets touched in your heart when you hear your partner trusting you and opening up to you with such a vulnerable fear?

I hope this information helps you to better understand on what to expect during your first couples therapy session in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

If you are still feeling stuck, feel free to call me at (703) 347-3200 for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what is happening and help direct you to the right person.

If you are looking for help with your relationships or marriage, you can read more about how I can help here. Please do not wait several years before you seek couples counseling. You deserve to be happy today!

ABOUT AUTHOR

Irina Baechle,LCSW is a founder, owner, and a licensed therapist at IrinaBaechleCounselingLLC. She specializes in helping distant couples and anxious singles build truly connected and meaningful relationships. She currently offers online and in-home counseling services to residents of Virginia and North Carolina (and most countries abroad). Click here to schedule your free 15 min consultation. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube for useful tips and resources.

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