Fighting is destroying our marriage – ARTICLE

My husband and I work different shifts, and this creates tremendous stress. We say the meanest things to each other — sometimes I feel we’re out to destroy our relationship! Our three girls are starting to react to the way we talk to each other, and I’m worried about the long-term effects. We’ve started counseling, but I still don’t know how to stop fighting. Help!

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Hi,

Sorry to hear that. I know exactly how this fighting makes you feel.

Right now, there is an excess of stress on your family and relationship. You express this excess by fighting with each other. You do love each other but get aggressive simply because your mind is under attack.

The aggressive response is simply an emotional need to defend your couple. You want security. Being aggressive is your way of wanting to secure your relationship.

Being aggressive and attacking is simply a way of expressing your power. It is an instinctual response to pressure. In a way it is a healthy response but the way you express it is not productive, right?

What you want is to shift your mind set and bring in a new model.

You want to empower your couple and family, not to destroy it through fights.

The goal is simple: secure your relationship and family space. It is because you two are overstressed that you attack each other. You are under pressure and you project this pressure on each other.

What can you do about it? You need to sit down and talk. The reason why you attack each other is because you have no space to express your resentment or feelings. In other terms, there is little “positive communication” between the two of you.

Lack of time? Make time! This is not optional! It is a priority! You need at least 30 min a week where you are there for each other and listen to what you partner needs to say.

You want to rebuild complicity. To empower your couple, you want to strengthen the binding force. This means that you need to sit down once or twice a week to design battle strategies together.

You transfer the communication ground from mutual aggression to dialogue and diplomacy.

It is okay to be direct and work with powerful emotions. However, when you feel it is draining you and your family, it is urgent to gain new skills and establish a new communication style.

Communication skills in relationships are something you can learn right now. It takes 1 month to get the basics and about 3 months to firmly establish it in your life.

You want to consciously invest in it and develop a new mind set which aims at creating complicity and couple synergy rather than conflict.

You are on a common ground: the territory of your family. This is the territory you want to defend and you are partners in that, not opponents.

Where to start? You need to train those new skills. This means that you need to invest 30 min/week for 3 months. This is what it takes.

Get in touch with a relationship coach or therapist and firmly establish these communication skills in your life.

You are worth it! Don’t hesitate! This is about the survival of your relationship. Do whatever it takes to power up your couple.