Fighting Fairly Saves Your Relationship!
In most relationships the “ego” is allowed to run amuck causing needless pain and damage to good relationships. The term ego here refers to that part of us that keeps us in a judgmental and negative place. It is the voice that says, “It is all your fault!” pointing the finger of blame and condemnation at our partner.
A key element in any successful relationship is keeping this ego perspective in check as much as possible. Below are some helpful tools to make sure the ego in kept under control:
Before allowing yourself to have an ego based emotional reaction at your partner be sure to stop and count. This may sound over simplified but it is a powerful relationship tool.
When we are having negative emotional reactions to our partner we are operating from the right hemisphere of the brain. When we stop, depending on the severity of the reaction, and count to ten or even one-hundred, we allow more logical thinking to take place.
You would not believe the hurtful and demeaning things I have heard couples say to one anther in the middle of arguments. The unfortunate part in this is that once this is done so is the damage!
Once we stop and count it is time to edit what and how we are going to say to the person we love. For in that moment when we feel like screaming at them, it is hard to “feel” that love for them. Therefore, choosing to check over what is going to come out of our mouth, knowing it can never be unsaid, is vital in keeping a relationship strong and healthy.
This may sound hard to do and can be if you have never practiced it before, however, with a firm commitment to it and a little self-control it can be done, avoiding incredible damage to your relationship.
Just as we give children “time-outs” we must do this for ourselves as well. It is a far safer practice to say to your partner, “I am very angry with you right now and need some time to cool off!” If you need to take a walk, call a friend, or go scream into your pillow do it but do not engage with your partner while you are in a heighted angered state.
Even though each person and relationship is unique there is one guarantee I can give everyone and that is, once you create damage to the relationship it takes work to heal it.
At this point, you have stopped yourself from acting out from anger, edited what you want to say to your partner, and given yourself time to cool off. Now it is time to process or in other words work through the issue causing the argument.
This entails identifying what is the core of the argument and addressing that instead of symptoms of the argument. For example, if you are upset with your partner for being late all the time, with a little self-exploration you may discover that you are really upset because you feel disrespected by your partner.
Once you have identified the core issue then it is time to talk with your partner about it. The key word here is “with.” You want to be sure that you do not talk at your partner but instead create an environment where you both can share your feelings in order to reach a resolution.
For many couples they are not able to do this on their own and reach out to me for help. If you feel doing this on your own is too hard, reach me here and together we will heal your relationship!
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