In every new relationship, I remember having the thought, "I can't imagine what we would ever fight about." Anybody who can relate to that can also relate to the fact that it wouldn't be long until we would find something.
It's a strange phenomenon that the person we love the most is often the one who gets the worst of us; how in relationships, we can vacillate from overwhelming feelings of Love to overwhelming feelings of anger or even rage.
So why do we fight? If you're like most people, then the reasons why you actually fight rarely have anything to do with the thing that you're fighting about. They begin with one thing and quickly escalate to other things entirely, until after a while, you can't even remember what started the fight to begin with.
Why is it so difficult for two people to simply Love and be good to each other?
What is all the fighting really about?
And how do you stop it?
We have a few ideas about this and in this post, we're going to share them with you.
If you're committed to a kind, warm, and understanding relationship, read on. We're going to tell you the 4 reasons that couples fight and how to stop the fighting altogether.
The most common issues that couples fight about are (in no particular order):
But these aren't really the cause of any fight--they are actually the trigger points. These are the issues that trigger those places of doubt and insecurity in you that make you want to fight.
Most if not all of these issues will be a part of any relationship but some couples navigate these challenges in a cooperative and understanding manner while for others, they become a constant source of conflict.
So what are you really fighting about? We've narrowed it down to 4 critical points that once resolved, while you may still have disagreements, you will never fight the way that most couples do.
The 4 critical points that are behind most fights between couples are:
Lack of communication skills
Not making the relationship a priority
#1 Personal Insecurity
This is perhaps the most challenging to overcome, and also the most insidious.
Fights are mostly due to the insecurities of one or both partners. When you are feeling insecure, anything your partner says or does can be taken personally. You'll often want to make them work a lot harder than necessary to show you their Love and this in itself will often cause a fight.
Insecurity will make you feel jealous, even when there is nothing to be jealous about. Because insecurity feels like a lack of stability, it will cause you to doubt your partner's feelings for you, your financial situation, your sex life, things regarding your children, and so on.
Insecurity is at the root of all trust issues. Lack of trust is like cancer to a relationship.
When you are feeling insecure, you feel like you are under attack constantly and this leads to a consistent state of defensiveness. When you are being defensive, you are not open, and you will have poor communication because you can't listen.
Nothing will cause more fights than a lack of safety and security in a relationship. There are 2 sides you have to look at when resolving this:
1. If your partner doesn't create an environment in which you feel secure, you will never feel secure no matter how secure you are as a person.
2. If you are not a secure person, you will never feel secure, no matter how well your partner creates a safe environment for you.
The causes of personal insecurities are too many to go into here. We work on this directly with our clients in a more private setting. Here we'll simply say that you need to be so secure in yourself that you don't bring unnecessary insecurities to the table. If there are things that your partner needs to work on in terms of creating a safe environment for you, that is the only way you'll be able to resolve this in a calm and cooperative manner.
We all have insecurities and relationships do tend to bring them up. We're not saying that you shouldn't have them, but in a successful relationship, couples don't allow their insecurities to cause unnecessary problems. They both make an effort to not unnecessarily trigger each other's insecurities. In this environment, when they do come up, you're able to work with them in a reasonable way and prevent them from escalating to places the conversation doesn't need to go.
#2 Lack of Communication Skills.
Relationship conflict is usually highly emotional and irrational.
In an argument, your emotions are high, usually fueled by insecurity, and so proper communication is lost in the face of anger, resentment, fear, guilt, and righteousness.
We've noticed in our relationship that it only takes one of us to apologize and ask to talk in a loving way to open up the lines of communication. Even though we know that, we oftentimes still resist being that person because on some level it means "losing the fight" (not that that actually means anything).
Many people have learned that the way to get what you want is through aggression, manipulation, and guilt-tripping. This does not work in a relationship, but most people resort to these behaviors because they don't know how to really ask for what they want.
Communication requires vulnerability. Open communication requires us to face our fear of rejection--what if you ask for what you want and they say no?
Authentic communication is simply saying what's honest for you without defenses, power-trips, and strategies. You can't pretend like you don't need anything from your partner and have a deep relationship with them. Fulfilling each other's needs, in many ways, is what a relationship is all about.
Most people do relationships like a strategy game, but True Love is about vulnerably expressing your needs to another person and having them choose to meet them. Until you reach that level, your relationships will always feel unfulfilling.
Being skilled in communication means that you know how to express your needs without starting a fight about it, and you know how to listen to your partner's needs without triggering your own insecurities or becoming angry.
When you learn to do this, you will rarely fight.
This is more common in new relationships, although some incompatible couples can hang on for a long time. Usually, incompatible relationships self-destruct within the first 2 years.
This self-destruction is usually incredibly painful and involves a lot of fighting and heartache, but most of it can be avoided if you learn how to identify it early on.
Incompatible couples fight because they are on very different pages about what they want and where they are going in their lives. Because of this, one or sometimes both partners, feel like they are sacrificing their dignity for the relationship. They may not word it that way, but that is the experience.
These relationships are often full of jealousy and competition, the feeling of needing to out-do your partner. Usually incompatible partners start to resent each other because they feel like the other person is always taking from them.
In an incompatible relationship, you will always feel like they are not holding up their end of the deal. That's because you don't actually want the same things and you're either in denial about it or trying to make them want what you want.
You feel like you are doing all of the work and that leads to bitterness. You feel undervalued and that leads to insecurity.
The sad thing is that we usually see two good people who have genuine feelings for each other but have avoided the important conversations that needed to be had--conversations about their ideas on marriage, children, money, lifestyle and so on.
You avoid these conversations in the hope that these issues will go away, but deep down you know that you're not going in the same direction, so you don't feel safe in the relationship. You know that it's likely coming to an end and you try to avoid that by putting more restrictions in place on each other and on the relationship, and that leads to more fighting, driving you further apart.
The longer this goes on, the less likely it is you'll end on good terms and the more resentful you'll be when it does end. You'll feel like you wasted your time.
To avoid this, you have to be very clear about what you want. Do not neglect having the important conversations--the "what are we doing here?" and "where do you see us in 5 years?" conversations. When you have these discussions you need to be honest about what you want and also be honest with yourself if they don't want the same things.
In a relationship, you have to be walking the same path together. Two different paths will always lead you to two different places.
#4 Not Making the Relationship a Priority
Someone feeling neglected in the relationship will always lead to fighting, or worse, resignation.
To have a successful relationship, you have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are important to them and they have to know that they are important to you. When something or someone is important to you, you make them a priority.
Most of the fights that show up around work, friends, free time, and sex usually stem from this issue. Not making your partner a priority is the number one way that you will make them feel unsafe in your relationship.
You know that you are a priority to your partner when they give you their time and attention, they take your requests seriously, they make time for you to be intimate together, emotionally and physically.
We need attention from the one we love. It boosts our self-esteem, makes us feel worthy, and has us feel good about the things we do for the relationship every day. When you feel that you can't get your partner's attention, you will likely pick fights with them if that is the only way you feel you can get their attention.
When you feel secure and valued in a relationship, you don't have problems with them being with their friends, attending to their work, or how they spend their free time. When you make time and effort to have a fulfilling sex life, there is no sexual insecurity in the relationship.
You will not be able to give the relationship your undivided attention all of the time, but make sure you do make time for it the same way you make time for everything that is important to you.
Your relationship should never be secondary. Of course you will have other concerns that demand your time and attention, but your partner always needs to know where they stand with you. Often all it takes is a phone call in the middle of a busy day to let them know that they're on your mind. Whatever it takes, do it.
Fighting is devastating and hurtful in any relationship, but when you heal the underlying issues that are turning challenges into "fights", you'll likely have no fights at all. It is easy to resolve disagreements in a cooperative and understanding manner when the only issue at hand is the disagreement itself.
Matters of money, sex, family, responsibilities and so on are easy to discuss and resolve when you're not taking it personally or being triggered about other unresolved issues in the relationship. When fights happen, they are always revealing to you that there are deeper levels of trust and connection available to you that you haven't reached yet. When you realize this, the obvious thing to do is work on that.
Constant fighting becomes exhausting and will ultimately push you or your partner to the point where you're not willing to fight anymore. If you let it go on until you get to that point, it will be too late.
If you'd like to chat with us about the fights you're having and how we can help, click here.
As always, thank you for reading <3
Love is worth having. So if you don't have it, why not?
We are not gurus. We have nothing that everyone else doesn't have and no secret tricks that will magically solve your love life. All we've done is learn to navigate the wild waters of relationships in a way that led us to find and create the love we've always wanted.
And we're still working on it Every. Single. Day.
The way that we, as a culture, have learned to do relationships is not the way to find True Love. Most of us have a lot of relationship-bad-habits and it's time to unlearn them. When you do, you'll find that the love you are looking for is well within your reach.
We've found a new kind of relationship, a departure from the modern dating drama and toxicity that so many people have come to accept as normal. And our methods have helped hundreds of individuals and couples navigate these challenging waters themselves to find the love they're looking for.
To find out how you can work with us and create the relationship that most people only ever dream about, click here. And if you found this post helpful, please share it with someone that you know can benefit from it!