I Am So Tired of Fighting

I Am So Tired of Fighting

Published On: April 19, 2024

Harville Hendrix said, “We are born in a relationship, hurt in a relationship and healed in a relationship.” This so eloquently describes the typical journey of a relationship in that it starts with such hope, encounters pain and finds a safe home again. For most couples, the pain experienced in a relationship is one couple finding themselves dwelling much too long. Many partners believe they have done everything and all they can to reconnect but without success.

It is at this moment that we might begin to think we married the wrong person or that the person we married has changed, and maybe they were duped. Upset turns to frustration, and frustration turns to resentment. More importantly, what couples think they are fighting about is not what they are fighting for. Hence, they concentrate on the wrong question, which only leads to the wrong answers and more frustration.

The second part of the difficulty is that couples, instead of knowing how to repair disconnection, increase the debate (and consequently increase the disconnection) with their partner, hoping that somehow they will find the magic words that will convince their partner they are wrong, and they are right. This is a debate and there are two problems with this approach. First, in a debate, you have two people speaking, and no one is listening. I often have a partner tell me how good they are at listening, only to find that they are not listening the right way. They listen only to get ammunition for their side of the debate instead of listening to understand their partner truly. At heart, when a partner is voicing a frustration, all they are doing is trying to tell you what it is like to be them and what they need to feel safe, secure and loved. It can be difficult to hear that message especially after conflict has been present for a long time. A partner might not believe they have the patience or tolerance to let the conversation just be about their partner. The second problem is that in a debate, there is a winner, and there is a loser. No one wants to lose in conflict.

Is there truly a way that couples can learn how to repair disconnection and maintain connection?  The answer is a resounding YES! As a Certified Imago Therapist, I have taught couples how to talk about anything without the conversation becoming apocalyptic. The skills are also so transferable that you can use them with your kids, colleagues or difficult people… They work in any kind of relationship. Secondly, we teach couples how to build a conscious and intentional relationship. This is so important because, together and individually, you will see that you can truly direct the adventure of your relationship so that the ups outweigh the downs.

What if my partner refuses to come for therapy? While it is ideal that both partners are in session together to learn the skills required to have a great marriage, it is not absolute. You are learning the skills of speaking to your partner, not for the purpose of becoming a better communicator but for the purpose of repairing the disconnection. This can begin a positive transformation because the two of you have long practiced dysfunctional means of sharing frustration, and now you are changing the dance. This means that how they used to argue or push your buttons no longer works, and this can nudge them into finding newer and better means of sharing modelled by what you are doing. It is sadly true that sometimes a partner is so defensive that they will not allow themselves to cooperate with repair. This can make things difficult, but if you are still arguing, there is still the possibility of repair. Arguing, although tiring, is not the measure of whether a relationship is over. Arguing is merely the flip side of the coin called “passion.”

Does it take a long time to learn this? Well, if you think how long you might have been in conflict, you will realize you have been practicing ways the ensure maintaining disconnection for a long time. Learning more functional skills will also need to be practiced over a very long time. The difference is that the results are less tiring, less frustrating and less disconnecting. I will let you be the judge of that!

Many couples who have undergone Imago Therapy have experienced numerous “A-ha” moments in which they realize that what they have been fighting about is not what they are fighting for. Are you in a similar situation? If you’re ready to take charge of building a healthy relationship, you can contact Bayridge today for online counselling services to begin repairing the hurt and damage caused by conflict and reconnecting with your partner. The contact number is 905-319-1488.

Couples Counselling in Canada

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