Do you and your partner have the same fight over and over?
Relationship conflict devolves into a predictable rhythm. Identify the rhythm and you can find your way out.
In this episode we’ll uncover your relationship conflict pattern so you can stop spinning out of control
- We’ll look at typical conflict patterns
- You’ll hear relationship conflict compared to a merry-go-round
- And you’ll get help for how to slow the spin of an argument that gets out of control
You and your partner likely have a different script for how an argument is supposed to unfold. Because you’re reading from different scripts, you’re not connecting. That conflict is causing you to spin out of control. Let’s fix that mis-match.
Stories for your relationship
When you have relationship conflict, do you freeze up like a rabbit? Do you roar like a lion?
In today’s podcast you’ll hear your relationship compared to a merry-go-round and you’ll recognize ways you (or your partner) push that conflict and get it spinning out of control.
You’ll hear how my husband’s naturally quiet disposition contributed to our relationship conflict, and how my tendency to be transparent with emotions made the argument worse.
You and your partner both want the other to read from your script for how conflict is supposed to go. I want engagement that actively assures me my husband’s on my team. My husband wants the comfort of peace and quiet so he feels safe with me.
I began to notice his retreat posture and, instead of taking it as a personal rejection of me, I was able to simply see that he had a different script for how we deal with a tough moment. I could laugh a bit and say, “Am I scaring you?”
Sometimes my husband realized my intensity was a cry for help and he’d just quietly hug me.
Habit for Your Happily Ever After
This week’s habit for your happily ever after is to draw a picture of your conflict cycle. This will allow you to see the script you and your sweetheart have for conflict.
It will help you to get a handle on the rhythm you practice over and over. How do each of you spin the misunderstanding merry-go-round faster and faster?
When you can see what escalates the spinning out of control, you can change.
But don’t worry about changing right now.
The only thing I’m inviting you to do this week is to get out a piece of paper and draw a circle on the page. This will represent your misunderstanding cycle.
In the example you’ll hear about my marriage, I want to talk with my parter about a challenge I had at work.
I want to have an exchange. And, because I’m upset about work, I might come on a little strong.
My partner wants to be there for me, but he doesn’t want to upset me further. So, his posture is timid.
I interpret his timidity as a lack of engagement. I pounce. “Engage with me!”
He thinks he’s done something wrong and retreats further.
Conflict in your relationship spins out of control when you each want your partner to read from your script.
Draw your relationship conflict cycle here
Now it’s your turn to look at your relationship. Think of a specific argument you’ve had with your partner.
What happened first? Fill in the first bubble.
What happens next? Fill in the next bubble.
Keep filling in bubbles and you’ll notice how your relationship conflict spins out of control.
Relationship Date Night Discussion
This week tell your sweetheart a story about when you got your feelings hurt as a child. Not by your sweetheart, but by someone else.
Then follow up the story with what you wish had happened when you’d gotten hurt.
The reason I invite you to talk about how someone ELSE hurt your feelings is that it’s a chance for both you and your sweetheart to notice the types of things that hurt your feelings.
This is a meta conversation for your relationship. Allow yourself to notice the way your sweetheart typically handles hurt.
The magic of having curiosity conversations like this one is that you get to observe your sweetheart and notice how they behave when they’re upset without it being so personal.
Your brain will tuck that away so you can recognize hurt in your sweetheart and become more attuned to their cues.
In order to cultivate your happily ever after, it helps to know these sorts of patterns in your sweetheart’s behavior. It helps you recognize things that previously you were taking personally.
How can you open a window of connection when your sweetheart is hurt? Text me and tell me about it. You can reach me at 970-210-4480. I want to know about your relationship’s misunderstand merry-go-round.
I’ll be taking a break for the holiday season but I’ll be back in January.
Want to stop arguing and start connecting with your spouse? This FREE e-course will offer you habits to improve your marriage communication so you can smile more and fight less. Sign up to improve marriage communication.Sign Up to Improve Marriage Communication