Many couples call me because they have reached a point where the conflict in their relationship has become too much to bear. They’re angry, exhausted, lonely, and afraid. Not a comfortable place!
The shocking news I have to give them is I can’t help this couple – these two lovely people – to stop fighting. And, actually, no one else can either.
Let me explain. Go get a pen and paper; I’ll wait. Ready? Okay, now write down a list of people you know–family, friends, coworkers, and other people (such as bank tellers, waitresses, cashiers) who you come into contact with on a regular basis.
When you’ve done that, put a star in front of those people you sometimes fight with. Put two stars if the two of you argue frequently.
What do your starred people have in common? If you’re like many people, you answered “The people I’m closest to,” or “The people I care about most.”
So can you see that it’s perfectly natural that the more intimate the relationship, the more likely you will be to step on each others toes, and experience conflict? Not too surprising, really, once you think it over a bit.
“How do my mate and I stop fighting?” is a trick question. To stop disagreeing with someone is to either not spend time with them or to care so little about their opinion that you have no interest in arguing. I hope you and your mate are not at this point! What you probably do want is a way to handle disagreements while maintaining closeness with your partner.
And see Stop Fighting, part 2 for what I can do to help you with that.