In a relationship, discussions are inevitable. But that doesn’t mean they’re fun. This is even more true when the reasons for the arguments are always the same. It can be annoying, right? Tired of constantly arguing with your partner about the same things over and over?
The good news is that it is possible to come to an agreement on a recurring issue. It has to do with recognizing the origin of the problem. On the other hand, it may not be a specific problem but rather a general disagreement. In this case, the approach is different. Because there are usually other reasons, such as a power struggle.
A parenting model based on disagreement in the relationship
One of the main reasons why many couples argue over and over again is because they learned it from their parents. Because they haven’t learned how to deal with conflict. In the past, they have also learned to use strategies that keep the disagreements going. One of these strategies is to reuse arguments. They then repeat it, but use different words. In this way they create the feeling that they can always contribute new information to the discussion.
So they imitate their parents. In fact, it is often about claiming the superiority of one’s own position. So the goal is not to understand each other’s perspectives in order to compromise and restore harmony.
Many couples argue because they have acquired a model based on disagreements in the relationship. This model is the opposite of the idea that it is possible to negotiate a disagreement in a constructive way. In essence, there is a very clear message in this manner of etiquette: differences of opinion in relationships are irreconcilable.
So it says there is only one way to get out of this conflict. You need to intimidate the other person more than they intimidate you. As a result, the fight will not end until both partners are so tired and horrified that they cease from sheer exhaustion. Often they have also forgotten why the quarrel started in the first place.
Examine why you have discussions with your partner
First and foremost, the solution is to define the framework on which we base our arguments. Are we using the same arguments over and over? Do the discussions with your partner resemble those of your parents? Do we actually know why we are discussing? Do we always focus our speech on the same demands and protests? Do we, like a spring, automatically react to certain situations and start discussing without thinking further?
Now think for a moment about how healthy your parents’ relationship was. Did the relationship end well? Were they happy as a couple? If you don’t want to end up like they did, get into the habit of handling discussions with your partner in a different way.
It is possible to live without having discussions with your partner every day. You can really make sure that your clashes end in an agreement and not in a truce that only lasts until both sides have recovered. For as soon as the energy level is high enough again, you will once again engage in the struggle.
But the first thing we have to do is pretend it’s possible. We also need to stop trading automatically. It is therefore important that we recognize the stimuli and that we reprogram our reactions based on that.
Self-protection when you feel vulnerable in a discussion
Getting mad at the other person is one way we protect ourselves. We do this especially when we feel attacked and vulnerable. It makes us counter-attack. We try to win the battle so we don’t expose ourselves to danger.
In addition, all too often we depend on our partner’s opinion. So when they question our competence, intelligence or anything else, we feel that our self-image is seriously compromised. In short, we feel vulnerable. That is why we need to defend ourselves. Because that makes us feel safer.
Self-defense and self-affirmation
But when we try to defend ourselves in this way, we usually start attacking the other person’s weaknesses as well. We blame him for our problems. In addition, we do not estimate the damage that our words can cause. What was once fear can now give a sense of power and strength. This is because of the adrenaline. The result is that a negative attitude is reinforced here.
When we are on the verge of anger, we forget to listen to our partner. After all, we are trying to “defend ourselves.” The solution is that we learn how to affirm ourselves. We can strengthen our own ego without hurting anyone. We then look for our own way to grow and accept ourselves unconditionally and with all our weaknesses.
Often we argue about our own problems that we see reflected in our partner. But if we can accept ourselves and be generous, compassionate, understanding and forgiving towards ourselves, then we will be able to treat our partner in the same way.
The solution also involves looking for a different perspective that includes empathy and understanding. We recognize the other person’s position, even if it differs from our position. For this will help to moderate our anger and maintain control.
Some differences are incompatible
When we talk about the discussions in a relationship, there are some issues that simply cannot be solved by their nature or ideology. We can adapt or give in to these insoluble contradictions. But that doesn’t mean they are compatible.
Even though we know that differences exist, we will eventually feel irrationally threatened by them. Discussions with your partner for ideological or personal reasons are usually a form of self-affirmation. It’s a way of resisting the sense of alienation they create in us.
Nevertheless, the answer is that you should determine the problem areas and just exclude them from the conversation. Try to appreciate and respect the immutable differences. Focus on the points where you reach an agreement without feeling that your partner’s beliefs are a threat to your own.