I'm sad. It happens whenever I see people making relationships so much harder for themselves than necessary. It's pervasive. It's not just my clients and friends, but on television, in movies, magazines, social media...
Relationships can be very drama-filled, very reactive, very painful. (They don't have to be! I'll tell you more in a minute. You can see the next couple post in this 3 part series on fighting here)
One big reason was illustrated in a TV show I recently watched (a girly show I'm embarrassingly sort of addicted to). In this show a couple was going through a divorce. Just before they actually signed the divorce papers, they decided they wanted to give it another go-- because deep down they were still in love with each other.
So they spent a really great weekend together. They got really conscious about a bunch of issues that come up in the past and committed to working through them with more self-responsibility, patience, and love. They did great until, at the end of the weekend, they had a blowout fight.
It was just the same old rut, the same old pattern, the same old stuff: name-calling, criticizing, lots of anger and accusation.
The interesting thing was it blew over fairly fast and they quickly reconnected to that peaceful place where they could really see and appreciate each other. But nonetheless they decided: too much fighting! It's not worth it! We're done!
This is the tragedy of many relationships. I know, I know, it was TV...But, I've seen very similar things in real life couples!
Most of us think there's something deeply wrong when conflict happens. I know I used to think the same thing. As sensitive people we really feel that...Conflict=bad.
That’s because it's really uncomfortable. It challenges us. It makes us feel things we don't want to feel. It brings out our dark side and tempts us to act ugly.
And so it's easy to conclude that when there's conflict in the relationship the relationship is damaged or broken.
I'm here to tell you that’s just not true.
If you read my last post you'll remember that much of our ability to have really great fulfilling relationships comes down to our perspective and willingness to work through the hard stuff that inevitably comes up (because we're only human).
In this same way conflict can be good. And it can actually bring us closer. It can bring up the things we need to address and deal with and learn to navigate better in ourselves and between each other. Once we’ve done that we're more deeply connected, more truly intimate, and ultimately more unconditionally loving with the person we've chosen as our life partner.
And that feels so good.
But when you believe that conflict is really bad you will react even more strongly during any disagreement, because not only are you fighting your partner, but you're fighting the experience of conflict itself. And that's doubly painful.
And then? We tend to do things we regret later, things that really do sabotage love and trust and break the relationship.
So learn to be okay with it when conflict comes up. See that it's just part of the process of getting rid of the stuff that blocks you from having connected intimacy. There'll be a lot more ease in your relationship when you can make that perspective shift.
Here's my assignment to you: Did you ever have a disagreement with someone that actually brought you closer or helped you to learn something important about yourself? Take a few solid minutes and seriously think about this. Then, tell us below in the comments. This will help you, and all the others here, to start to make that perspective shift, and bring more ease into your relationships!
It'll also make it easier to learn how to diffuse arguments and "argue well", which is an essential relationship skill.
If you want some quick, but in depth-support with handling arguments, bad feelings, and finding more ease in your relationship, check out Calm Your Triggers.
I created it because I know you want things to feel easier and more loving with your partner, but you're stumped on how to get there...
You always thought being a really loving partner would come naturally. But now, living in this relationship day to day, you’re doubting yourself. You get upset at the drop of a hat. You’re tired of snapping at him, crying, slamming doors, clamming up, running off to hide. You know deep down it’s not just his fault. It’s you, too.
You're ready to put an end to this pattern. To be more even-keeled, even when your partner doesn’t act how you wish he would, so that things are more peaceful and loving between you two.
Guess what? You don't have to figure it out alone!
We'll do it together in Calm Your Triggers. You'll feel better about yourself and have more peace with your partner --right away.
Curious? Here's How It Works.
I'm here for you.