As we attempt to repair, reconnect, and make sense of "what just happened" following a fight, we are often flooded with questions like: "What will come next for us as a couple?" "What does this conflict mean about our relationship?" and "Will we ever be the same again?" If you have questions about why you and your partner are fighting and are looking for help in understanding what's gone wrong, consider the following questions in better understanding the root of your couple conflict.
1. Are there certain topics we typically fight about?
Fights about money, sex, and in-laws/extended family have all been hot topics in couples counseling for several years now, but other specific issues related to technology/social media use, trust/infidelity, and even timelines for marriage have become equally popular amongst the millennial generation. Figuring out the underlying issue around what causes conflict in the relationship can be a good start to better understanding your partner, his/her values, and why certain things cause added strain on the relationship. Bring the hot topics you are able to identify to a trusted counselor and begin chipping away at understanding differences between you and your partner that may not have been effectively communicated before.
2. Am I secure in my relationship with my partner?
Fights are sometimes not about any ONE thing in particular, but rather about how a variety of small triggers can lead to a feeling of uncertainty regarding just how much our partners love, respect, and place value on us or the relationship as a whole. We all have fears when building a close, loving relationship and a future with someone we care about, but when those fears aren't managed properly we can find ourselves in a world of doubt, insecurity, and continual questioning of our partner and his/her motives. In case you're wondering, this happens to SO MANY couples, and no, you and/or your partner are NOT crazy. Counseling can often make a huge difference when insecurities show up in our relationships.
3. Do I know my own faults or tendencies in close relationships?
In addition to the challenges we face that are seemingly specific to the relationship with our current partners, each of us, as humans, have automative or reactionary responses (common ways of "dealing") when conflicts arise in any of our close relationships. Often these emotional responses do not yield the outcomes we hope for as they can lead to escalated conflict, hurtful words spat back and forth between partners, and ultimately feelings of hopelessness as we feel pain and brokenness in yet ANOTHER amorous relationship. Before you give up on your relationship with your partner or intimate relationships altogether, explore options for counseling that may be able to support you and your partner in regaining the connection that you and your partner worry has been lost in all the fighting.
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