Okay, first of all I don't LOVE the word fight, and I hope if you are fighting as such that you can get that shit worked out ASAP. Obviously, any kind of violence is NOT okay. If you are in a domestic violence situation, please contact the police and 1800RESPECT or Lifeline for support.
The kind of fight I am talking about is a disagreement, we all have them from time to time (or maybe more often than that). And most of us don't have a damn clue about what to do in these situations.
We get triggered, we react immediately and the next minute, we are raising our voice and saying all kinds of hurtful and untrue things, that come from a very wounded part of ourselves.
Relationship fights is one of the biggest causes of marriage issues. That constant arguing wears you down (from experience). Especially if you are fighting about the same things over and over again. It is exhausting, mentally draining and not conducive to a sustainable, loving relationship.
I have been in situations where arguments happened on the daily. Myself and the other party in those times weren't willing to own our shit. We weren't willing to go to those uncomfortable places within ourselves, to find that wounded part and clear all the stories we were holding onto.
We weren't able to go to the depths of ourselves and see that it wasn't a problem with the other person, it was a problem with ourselves. Instead of seeing this and doing something about it, we blamed the other person, over and over again and wondered why nothing changed.
This played out in every single one of my previous relationships, the same way. I couldn't see where I was going wrong. I wasn't able to shed the layers of stuff I was holding onto, that I thought were keeping me safe, but instead they were keeping me stuck. I was so frustrated with going around and around in these relationship conflicts but didn't know how to fix it.
All of these relationships broke down in the end.
One of the reasons that I do what I do with Conscious Couples and our podcast is because I don't want you to repeat the same mistakes that I did. And I know you can do better. I know you are ready to resolve the conflicts in your relationship. That is why you are here!
So, here is some of the conflict resolution strategies that have worked in my marriage with Luke:
Don't wait for things to explode to talk about them, talk about them in the moment. Before there is any charge around them.
Sure it is not comfortable bringing things up that aren't feeling good in your relationship, but talking about them in a neutral environment, before shit hits the fan, is much more conducive to a better conversation and to work on ways to resolve what is happening.
If you do slip into old habits of arguing, make sure to have a loving debrief after everyone has cooled down. Don't just say, "let's not do that again", talk about strategies to deal with each other's reactions. Talk about how to navigate tension in your relationship and how you can stop it getting out of hand next time.
3. LOOK FOR PATTERNS
Finding the trigger, both personally for you and your partner, is necessary. There might be more than one as well, which is okay! Don't stress, we all have them.
Look for repeating arguments and how you feel in those arguments - what is the main phrase going around in your head? Can you pinpoint why you are so upset?
This may take some journalling, meditation or talking with someone outside your relationship to figure out. Invite your partner to do the same. Once you both know your triggers, you can start to work on the stories behind them and releasing those so you are no longer triggered.
4. HAVE A SIGN
Or word or phrase to act as a pattern interrupt when things get wild. Maybe it's something silly like, "marshmallow magic" or you hold your arms up in the air. Maybe you can place one hand over your heart and one hand over your partner's heart.
This is a sign that things have gone too far and to take a moment to reflect and process. Something that brings you back to a lighter energy works well.
5. OPINION OR VALUES
Difference in opinion is okay, in fact, it is perfectly normal in a relationship. A huge difference in values is a little harder to move forward with, depending on what they are and how deeply you hold them.
This includes controversial topics like monogamy, sexuality, children, religion, politics and so on.
Have the conversations first, talk about values when you are getting to know someone and see where they sit. You then have the option before things get too serious to back out if it isn't going to work. The conversations when the baby is already in the belly is far too late!
For both yourself and the human you are disagreeing with. We are all human. We fuck up sometimes (note, not all the time). In a healthy relationship, you will disagree. You will forget all the tools you possess and the love you have and end up saying the wrong thing from time to time.
Be quick to forgive yourself, be quick to forgive your partner and use it as a learning experience for everyone involved!
If you're suffering from constant conflict within your relationship, then we need to chat. Book your discovery call with us TODAY and let's help you reignite the love in your relationship!