Every knows and understands that relationships are hard. Relationships can be a bit like a roller coaster having it’s ups and downs, twists and turns. They only problem is sometimes it can feel like you are riding the same roller coaster of fights again and again.
So how do you get off the ride and stay away from fighting the same fight over and over? Where do you even begin with putting the relationship back together?
Often people think that the first step is communication. Though, communication is very important and even a key ingredient it’s not the first ingredient to fix or stop doing the same old fight. The very first thing you must do is learn to listen.
Learn to Listen: Listening is a skill you think we would have down by adulthood. However, most of us listen enough to hear the words but multitask while listening. Were busy thinking about our response and what to say next. Instead of really focusing on the whole picture. What are there words saying? What is there body language saying? We must use all of our senses to listen fully. We must clear our own agenda from our minds and truly focus on what our partner is trying to tell us. Especially when in an argument. A simple and easy tip is to repeat back exactly what they said. For example, “What I am hearing you say is that you feel tired and overwhelmed and you need me to help more around the house. Is that correct?” This should be said with compassion and empathy. Allowing your partner to feel fully heard and understood.
Clearly Communicate in “I Feel” Language: As we mentioned before communication is important. So often we get tied up in our emotions we say things that we don’t really mean. If you have ever been in any type of therapy you learn how to communicate buy stating how you feel. For example if you feel like your wife nag’s you all the time. It wouldn’t be a good idea for you to yell out Stop nagging me. This will only put her defenses up and make her feel like she must explain why she has to nag you. It’s a better idea to tell your wife how you are feeling. For example: Honey, I am feeling really exhausted right now and I could use a little down time. I know you could use my help right now & I know your working hard too but do you mind if I take 20 minutes to relax? I’ll help you as soon as I am done. I would really appreciate it. Acknowledgement the fact that you both work hard is really important and so is the fact that you are tired. When we speak with good intentions and from a place of feelings we are more likely to communicate clearly. Remember to stay away from words like: You never, You Always these are what we call hot buttons that are sure to lead to a fight.
Acknowledgement: Because we get into a pattern in life we can make the mistake of ignoring or not acknowledging our partner. We get home from work and blop ourselves on the sofa without even saying “Hi”. Think back when you first started dating. Would you treat your date this way? How do you respond when your watching your game or favorite television show ? Do you give your full attention? We need to make sure that we give our partner the attention that they need. Even when the timing isn’t perfect for us. They need to feel that they are a priority in our lives.
Keep the Fire Burning: In the beginning of every relationship things run hot. There is lots of touching, kissing and hugging. However, for many couples they find that this might dwindle down after time goes by. And this is normal to a point. But, that doesn’t mean the fire has to go out. Keeping the fire burning isn’t about sex. It’s about giving your partner the physical attention they desire. This can be a simple good morning peck. Or long hug when your partner gets home from work. Even is small doses when we are physically touched in a caring manner our bodies release endorphins that can help fight depression, obesity, cancer and the list goes one. We all crave to be touched and to feel wanted. This is a important part of the puzzle to keep any relationship on track.
Keep the past where it belongs: We are all guilty of doing dumb or even hurtful things to others in the past. But, who wants to have them thrown in our face each and every time something goes wrong? A great way to keep from fighting the same fight over and over again is to start with the four items above. Once you have mastered those ingredients it’s time to make a rule. Once a fight has been discussed and resolved there is no going back. This does not mean that you have to agree on the fight 100%. It only means that you see each person’s side of the story and you take ownership and responsibility for your role that you played in the fight. You apologize and then agree to move forward. Once you have agreed no one can bring that issue up again. Like in the movie the Lion King… It doesn’t matter it’s in the past. Move forward and focus on the issue in front of you.
The most important key to having a healthy relationship is understanding. Understanding that we all do our best in any given moment. Do your best to be a good person and a good partner and you will find your way to a happy and healthy relationship.