All We Do is Argue, Can Couples Therapy Help?
Conflict is common to all relationships. When you start with two people from different backgrounds, with different opinions and personalities, it’s unavoidable. Add expectations and quirky habits, along with the challenges of daily living, and inevitably you will be disagreeing with your spouse or partner about something. In order to live happily ever after, the trick to having a difference of opinions is knowing how to deal with issues as they arise. If a resolution or compromise is never reached, the same problematic topics will continue to be recycled and replayed until couples become exhausted. Feelings of hopelessness and isolation may take over as the unresolved differences separate the partners. At this stage, professional guidance can be invaluable. Conflict in relationships, if dealt with properly, can lead to growth, not destruction of the union.
Benefits of Counseling
The benefits of couples counseling include learning to communicate effectively and developing conflict resolution skills. If every discussion with your significant other turns into an argument, the problem may be more deep-seated than the topic at hand. If the real issue can be discovered, then you can learn to overcome it. Often the way we respond in the present is affected by what we experienced in our past. If the arguments we witnessed between our parents or in previous relationships were violent or otherwise abusive, we learn to be distrustful or otherwise find it difficult to get close to our partner.
Fighting about household chores, in-laws, parenting, or money may really be about feeling disrespected, undesirable, or powerless in the relationship. If these emotions continue to fester and remain unsaid, the impasse only leads to further difficulty with the passage of time. The longer a problem is avoided, the wider the rift. Getting the issue out in the open may be hard and stressful, but once the air is cleared, breakthroughs in communication can result. Sessions with a skilled therapist can help facilitate a reconnection, and assist in reaching the true cause of the argument.
Once the root problem is revealed, the therapist can then guide and teach effective strategies in resolving future disagreements and mediate to resolve the present ones. Healthy conflict can actually be beneficial in healing old wounds and reestablishing an emotional connection if it’s handled with proper techniques.
Your therapist can guide you in experimenting with new behavioral responses and actions, in ways to communicate authentically with each other, and learning to resolve differences in a rational and compassionate way. It’s important to learn to say what is on your mind calmly and honestly, listening to your partner and repeating what is heard in order to make sure the intended message is clear. Issues should be dealt with as soon as they arise, and discussed with each other, not with third parties after the event. Making decisions together and sticking to commitments are important factors in changing behavior as well, and that’s something that can be achieved most efficiently with a professional mediating between the members of the couple.
Benefits of Change
Learning new techniques to resolve cyclical arguments isn’t easy and requires patience practice and professional guidance. Changing habits of any kind requires a commitment and the will to change the situation.. Once connection and trust are established, both partners are able to express themselves genuinely and respect each other’s wishes and fears. This defines what you expect in your relationship and in your life, allowing for personal growth and clarification of how you would like to live from now on.
If we don’t make the effort to learn effective communication and conflict resolution within our relationships, we aren’t just wasting our time – we are wasting our lives. Seeking the help you need to improve the quality of your life, both personally and as a couple, can make all the difference in your future happiness and sense of fulfillment.