If you’re like most people, you probably dread conflict with your partner. After all, when we said in our vows, “For better or for worse, ” we all hoped for more “better” moments than “worse.” I cannot imagine anyone delighting in feeling misunderstood or hurt, getting frustrated that their partner is not listening, and being overwhelmed by the stress of going in circles around an issue that keeps coming up between them.
Couples who come into marriage therapy usually have had their fair share of fights. I hear them say, “We can’t communicate with each other without starting a fight.” As a result, many of them choose to avoid having any verbal communication for fear of getting into another argument. In time, these couples drift apart, with little to hold their relationship together except bitter memories of fights long past and the constant fear of re-enacting them. Continue reading