A Relationship Expert On Why You Keep Having The Same Fight

It’s no newsflash that most couples fight. How they do it and how frequently are two aspects that should definitely be considered. Just know that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with your relationship if there is some form of conflict every once in a while.

In fact, a healthy dose could even prove to be working for the relationship, and not against it.

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But there are couples who keep having the same fight, and in the end nothing gets solved. Family counselor John Gottman says that this is the case for 69% of American married couples. There is a long list of topics that start off a real shouting match, from money, to housework and even trifles. You all know the example about the unwashed dishes in the sink.

But oftentimes, the subject or the story aren’t important. Whether it’s the dog or the house or a toothpick, there is a pattern in every fight. And there’s always a trigger. Once you learn better how these work, you will navigate these conflicts in a different way. Here are two main things you can do:

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1. Resist the urge to always be right

No relationship expert can stress how important this is. This is probably the main reason so many of us get caught up in conversations that quickly escalate into monstrous fights. It’s true that in that very moment, we get a rush. Winning an argument always feels good. But never forget it’s temporarily and it’s at the expense of your relationship.

This becomes even more destructive when you’re caught in the moment and want to prove the other you are right at any cost. When you feel triggered, just stop. This kind of fight can’t lead to anything positive or constructive.

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2. Learn to de-escalate

More relationships could be saved if only we learned the art of de-escalation. This is about disengaging when we’re in the middle of a conflict. As soon as we begin to change the tone of our voice or turn red, we need to stop and take a deep breath.

Easier said than done. But pausing when we’re in a reactive or defensive state will change the entire course of the conversation, perhaps even of the relationship. Try reengaging in the conversation when you feel more vulnerable, when you’ve reflected more on the matter.

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Remember that if your fights are frequent and without any positive outcome, they will become  toxic. It’s all about how you start the argument: in a gentle and calm way or rushing to accuse or blame your partner.

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