Conflict happens in a relationship.
You can’t get around it – it’s just the way it works.
When your needs and that of your partner clash, it can lead to conflict.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it will lead to a fight, though.
As a dating and relationship life coach, I’ve seen my fair share of people who love and care for their spouse, but nevertheless can’t stop fighting with them.
But you’re not usually fighting about what you think.
Breaking The Proverbial Camel’s Back
Your partner left the dishes in the sink again.
They’re so engrossed in their work they’re neglecting you.
They’re carelessly saying something you’ve repeatedly asked them not to say.
Each of these scenarios, taken in isolation, isn’t that big a deal.
But as they continue to happen, little annoyances will pile up, feeling heavier and heavier each time.
However, addressing them in isolation doesn’t help either.
What Are You Actually Upset About?
If you approach your partner and tell them you’re frustrated that they left the dishes in the sink again, your response will be out of step.
After all, if it were just about the dishes, you could just ask your partner to not leave the sink filled, and that would be that.
But it’s not about that.
It’s about your needs which aren’t being met.
It’s about your vulnerabilities which are being triggered.
It’s about your own internalized ideas of what a relationship should be which are being frustrated.
But when you express to your partner how frustrated you are with them leaving the dishes in the sink, that feeling will mix with everything else you’re feeling, and, like a snowball growing as it rolls down a hill, your response will be out of step with how you actually feel.
Your partner may react confused, wondering why you’re so bent out of shape over something that seems so small.
And even if they respond with compassion, promising to be more mindful about the dishes in the future, it still won’t seem satisfying, because that’s not what you were upset about in the first place.
Because that’s not what you’re fighting about – not really.
So, what are you fighting about?
In almost all cases, it’s one of three things.
1. Needing Intimacy
Humans are social creatures by design, and we don’t do well in isolation.
But at the same time, there’s more to intimacy than just the physical.
Though to be fair, the physical is part of it.
Maybe you feel like your partner doesn’t support you when you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed.
Maybe you feel like you’re always the one to suggest doing something together, and you and your partner would never do anything together if not for your efforts.
Maybe you feel like your partner has withdrawn sexually and isn’t giving you the physical intimacy you need.
Whatever the reason, you may feel like you’re not being cared for properly, and you’re missing the closeness, physical or emotional, you need.
2. Needing To Feel Respected
Nobody wants to disrespect their partner on purpose, but sometimes we all mess up.
Sometimes, you might feel disrespected when you feel like your partner doesn’t acknowledge what you do for them.
Maybe you feel like your partner talks down to you when you’re with friends or family.
Respect is the foundation upon which any successful relationship is built, and without it you’ll have a tough time creating a dream life with your partner.
3. Needing To Feel A Sense Of Control
Control is another major factor in a relationship, and it can take so many different forms.
In some ways, you might feel like you’re lacking control in your relationship.
This is common when one spouse makes a lot more money than the other.
You might be working toward manifesting greater wealth and abundance, but in a state where there’s an imbalance of financial power, it’s easy to feel like you’re not in control.
At the same time, it might be that you have an issue with letting go of the need to control everything in your life.
Maybe you have kids, and you feel like you and your partner aren’t on the same page when it comes to raising them.
Feeling like they undermine you can be related to respect, but it can also have to do with control.
We all desire a certain level of control in our lives, and feeling like we’ve lost it can have a serious impact on the quality of our relationships.
How To Break The Cycle Of Fighting With Your Spouse
Now that we’ve recognized that you’re not really fighting about what you think you’re fighting about, how do we break that cycle?
How do you shift your mindset toward these conflicts?
1. Look Deeper
What is it that’s fuelling this conflict?
Is it based on some older, limiting beliefs you have?
Consider the three possible sources above – do any of those resonate with how you’re currently feeling?
If so, take some time to consider how they’re influencing your response.
Try meditating or journaling on it to better understand what’s driving your emotions.
2. Stop Looking At It In Terms Of Right Or Wrong
Who’s the winner in the argument?
Who’s the loser?
Both of you, either way.
Disagreeing with your spouse isn’t a situation of you vs. them, but the two of you vs. the problem.
Instead of coming at it from the perspective of wanting to “win” the argument, instead consider that you’re both right.
Because nobody is ever wrong when they honestly express their emotions.
3. Sit With The Conflict
Many of us are averse to conflict.
We’ve been conditioned to think that conflict is bad, or that it’s harmful.
That’s not true.
It can be uncomfortable, sure, but learning to sit with that discomfort and fully understand the situation can help you to more effectively resolve the conflict at its core, forgive your partner for the hurt you feel, and in turn be forgiven.
Book An Appointment With Evelina Hovich Today
For many of us, manifesting your dream life means manifesting the romantic relationship of your dreams as well.
But if you’re not where you want to be with that, there is hope.
I’m Evelina Hovich, a dating and relationship life coach, and I can help.
Book an exploratory session with me today, and let’s get working toward building the life of your dreams.