Relationship revival - How to stop arguing so much
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Richard Carroll - M.A, BSc, MBACP Accred Counsellor/Psychotherapist & Supervisor
18th July, 20150 Comments
Do you feel you and your partner argue too much?
Below, I explain why you argue and I offer a ‘quick tip’ on how you can begin to reduce the amount of arguments you have, together with shortening the length of your current arguments.
Arguing can be distressing, hurtful and baffling. Arguing can escalate and it can seem you spend more time arguing than doing anything else. When you are not arguing you might be spending an inordinate amount of time trying to understand why you and your partner argue so often.
Arguing can seem like a waste of time and effort, as nothing changes and they can leave you feeling lonely, misunderstood and not cared for.
When not expressed, the feelings outlined above can grow, resentment can build and before you know it you are arguing over the smallest things, for longer and more frequently. These arguments can get louder, angrier and more destructive. Quite simply, this means the emotional connection between you has temporarily broken down.
How do I know our emotional connection has broken down?
It is easy to identify when this occurs. When arguing, you say things you don't mean, feel guilty afterwards or the opposite, you feel your partner deserves everything you give them.
Emotional disconnection can be incredibly distressing as you feel you are battling the one you hold most dear, the one who usually makes things right for you. Emotional disconnection can also be isolating, frightening and bewildering.
Re-establishing an emotional connection
When emotionally connected to our partner our relationship flows, our needs are met and we feel special, wanted and even adored.
The first step to rekindling your emotional connection is to push the pause button in the middle of an argument. This can be really hard to do; however, if you want your relationship to be better it's vital.
Mid-argument, stop, take a breath to break the argumentative pattern. Go and drink a glass of water, have a cup of tea, listen to your favourite song. Just do something other than argue.
The break reduces anger, anxiety and tension; which allows logical, rational and more reasoned thought to be established.
This first step, as outlined above, is relatively easy. The next step you may need the support of a counsellor/psychotherapist as this involves a deeper exploration of feelings. An exploration of feelings is necessary to re-establish your emotional connection.
When we argue we are trying to communicate a whole range of feelings to our partner. Fundamentally, we are communicating that our needs are not being met, that the distance between us is difficult to understand/bear and that we feel unimportant or not wanted.
The first step to stopping arguing is being clear in communicating your needs to you partner.
Now for the tricky bit; the above may not have been spoken before, so your partner may feel unprepared hearing it which could generate more problems - exactly the opposite of what we want. Therefore, and to avoid creating more problems in your relationship, you need to be specific in saying -
1. What your needs are.
2. How your partner can meet them.
And most importantly...
3. How you will feel when your partner is addressing your needs (the final point moves beyond needs to address feelings).
Each partner needs to do the above. I always suggest discussing a small need to begin with, something easy for your partner to achieve, and once you have addressed each other’s need over a period of time, gently progress to something larger. (Progress only when you understand why meeting that need is so important to your partner and you have witnessed them relax as a result of you being responsive to their need.)
Couples who consistently do the above, I find, reduce the amount of arguments, feel more understood by their partner, feel united and generally their sense of feeling valued by their partner increases.
Give the above a try.
About the author
I am a very experienced, well qualified and accredited counsellor/psychotherapist and work with adults, children, young people and couples. I work in an integrative way; which means my approach offers me the flexibility to support people in a sensitive, warm, caring and professional way no matter what the issue/problems is.
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