Let me first apologise for no newsletter last week. Julie had a week’s holiday so I also took some time off to do things together. I’m now back on deck and raring to go.
One of the trends I am seeing in relationship counselling is couples presenting with the aim of sorting out arguments.
These begin with a different opinion on some topic – it may be about finances, intimacy, chores, parenting or in-laws.
Here’s an example with “Bill” and “Ann” (not their real names).
Ann notes Bill has come home from work and plonked himself on the couch with a beer whilst he watches some television. Ann begins to dwell on this as she would like some help with their two young children and preparing dinner.
After this scenario occurs for three months, Ann is now seething at the sight of Bill relaxing while she is still working. She reaches a point where she now says something. “Bill, why do you have to sit on the couch drinking when there is so much to be done? How ‘bout giving me a hand? I work too you know.”
“I’m tired from work. I just need half an hour to relax. Anyway, I do lots of work around the house and I bring in most of the money.”
Talk about adding fuel to the fire. Bill has made this Ann versus him. And this type of approach never ends well.
Whilst they start off arguing about helping Ann, this soon escalates into other topics and often ends up with past events.
Now, we are way off track as each person tries to win the argument. To make matters worse, their voices went from loud to yelling.
In the end, Bill retreats to his shed and has a few more beers while Ann is left stewing over nothing changing. As each person is angry, nothing is said to each other for the next two days.
Arguments produce much animosity and things are often said that will later be regretted. Calmness gives way to anger as they both fight to get their way.
Is there a solution?
Absolutely. It is important in a relationship for both people to value and respect their partner. This entails helping them out whenever they can.
At the start of a relationship, both people are contributing and impressing their partner as they want to be with them. As the relationship continues over time, resentment starts to creep in and each person becomes a ‘taker’. They become more selfish and identify what they can get from the relationship.
This ultimately causes the relationship to start breaking down as each person thinks, and often says, “I don’t need this shi*”.
If you are in a relationship, why did it work initially?
What has changed? And why did it change?
What has to happen for you to get back to the way you used to be?
If you need some help with any of this, I will be running a live course on Thursday, 7th November on how to cease arguing and for both of you to be happy. This is a must if you argue and fail to get a result. You will learn some great tools on how to communicate effectively.
You’ve got this.