If you are sick and tired of arguing and fighting with your loved one this blog is for you. I’ll just call it “fighting” when one person says something that hurts the other, and then the other says something back to either defend themselves or to retaliate. After a while, in the “fight”, the words increase in sharpness to eventually hit a climax, which then abruptly stops the arguing with people “leaving” and/or “giving the silent treatment “. That is, of course, if there is no need for police or medical personnel to intervene. Sometimes, the arguing gradually fades away, and then starts up at another time. These are the most common patterns.
In the “gradually fading away” scenario, couples can go on “picking” at each other with lower level fighting almost all the time. Most will, eventually, have a big “blow out” at some point and then in a matter of time, the constant “picking” will start again to fuel a daily hell for each other, and for, more sadly, any little children placed in their care.
Obviously, marital brawls like these take a whole lot of pleasure out of daily living. In fact, this kind of familial existence can even cause outright health problems, very bad habits like drinking too much, sleep problems, and also they model to children that relationships are unhappy and unsafe places to coexist. This model of how family life “is” can start up a whole new pattern in a whole new family as kids grow up. Since families are the fabric of societies everywhere, the outlook for the world can seem quite dismal as you contemplate the problem.
I often tell my clients that fighting with the one you love is like playing catch with a baseball. One person throws the ball and then, the other person throws it back. At first the game may start out friendly, but then, as the game goes on, the ball is thrown faster and harder. After a while somebody gets hurt. When playing this game it is very interesting how clients don’t see the signs that the balls are being thrown faster and harder before it is too late.
So, the question arises. What if you were aware, sooner, of a slightly faster, harder ball? Could you then do something to stop the game from reaching a point that hurts? And if you did that often enough is it possible to develop a new habit of relating? If you became aware sooner perhaps, maybe you could step aside and let the ball go by, or maybe you could catch it and gently place it on the ground. Maybe you could even speak up. You could say something very gently like, “Hey, I know we have gotten ourselves into a pattern that isn’t making us feel good. Neither of us really wants to continue in this way. I know I am unwilling to ________________ (be talked to this way, fight, be unhappy or whatever). It’s not your fault. We have both just gotten into a bad habit. But listen, I am going to leave for now so we can cool off (or before this gets out of hand), but I’ll be back and we’ll try again then.”
So, I teach my clients to say that and to do that, to leave. I tell them that there are a lot of ways to leave. They can leave for a minute, by getting on the computer or going into the bathroom. They can leave for an hour by listening to music, working in the yard or the garage, or going for a walk. They can leave the house and go to the bookstore or get a cup of coffee. They can go to the movies too, or, if necessary, they can leave for overnight or for a week or more. There are 50 ways to leave your lover. Oops, my radio announcing days, and my age, are showing.
Anyway, I make sure my clients always say, “It’s not your fault.” Or “It’s not all your fault” Because blaming someone else never works if you want to learn to stop fighting. Saying, “it’s not your fault” or “It’s not your fault alone” is also just a very kind thing to say, and if you want to have a happy relationship, little kindnesses, sprinkled here and there, need to begin somewhere.
I also make sure they say, “I’ll be back later and we’ll try again then” because most people have, at least a little bit of abandonment in their past, and depending on the level of it, they can get very scared if you just say “I’m leaving”, especially if your tone of voice is haughty. And if those people get very scared they may say or do something reckless. They could even become violent. Fear of abandonment can be just that terrifying and cause some people to do things they’d never otherwise do.
Now if you can’t bring yourself to do this this, or it seems like it doesn’t work, it may be because you have a lot of subconscious anger that is getting triggered. There could be other reasons too, but if you would LIKE to be able to do this, I know just how to help you. I do this kind of thing with my clients all the time, and you will absolutely love the new calmness you feel, the new smile and lighter energy you carry, how people and things just don’t get to you anymore and how you wonderful you feel inside. I work on a lot of issues. It is not unusual for people to call me to help them get over anger, to have more patience, more compassion, to be more present and to not get ticked off so easily. You are not alone and it’s not too late.