Fights in married life – Honey, do you feel like fighting today at 8?
Fights in married life; Once upon a time, ten years ago, three children and a mortgage, everything was simpler: you would say to him “Honey, let’s jump to my parents” and you would go even if it was Manchester-Liverpool match, and when you asked him to take the dog instead of you he happily agreed and even more – prepared for you Coffee on the go. So what has changed now, when every such request leads to a fight? Are you and him another classic case of material fatigue?
Disagreements: A Spice in a Recipe for a Good Relationship?
“Next time we do everything not to get to this fight” You swear to each other and to yourself after a loud fight, two days of war of attrition and reconciliation after well-planned political contacts.
Despite this, disagreements in the marital system are not only negative: Dr. Galit Lazar, a couple and family therapist and director of the Balance Institute, and Doron Weinstock, a clinical psychologist from the Discourse Psychotherapy Group, consider disagreements in certain doses natural and even essential to the marital relationship.
“In the early stages of falling in love,” says Dr. Lazar, “we want to see in our partner only the good. We throw at him all the good qualities we would like to see in us and our loved one and many times perceive him as perfect and complementary. Over time there is a disillusionment with the infatuation and fantasies that accompany it”.
“The complementary qualities that were once wonderful and liberating begin to be difficult and annoying: if I fell in love with a vibrant and spontaneous woman who brought me to life, the conservative and meticulous, after a while her enthusiasm and drama begin to be burdensome and unbearable.”
Although disillusionment can lead to friction, disagreement and disappointment, Dr. Lazar says it is a vital stage that allows one to know the spouse as he is, and not just as we would like to see him. “Beyond that,” says Dr. Lazar, “without disagreement. There will be no mature intimacy in which the couple learns to contain the good and evil that exist in the other. “
Doron Weinstock also points to a unique role played by fights in married life: “Many times the marital conflict does not only express disagreements between the spouses but an internal conflict that exists in each of them. The drama of the quarrel expresses an internal conflict when the division of roles actually serves both parties.” .
A classic example of this type of situation you can see at least once a week in your living room: Officially the little one is already supposed to sleep soundly, but unofficially he shows up in the living room around midnight and demands more chocolate.
You explain to him that it’s too late and now he’s asleep but you have a heart ache for him and you suggest that maybe anyway.
You remind him that you have already talked about keeping track of bedtime and you remind him that you have already concluded that there is room for flexibility as well, especially when you give it up the last time.
From here to there, you sink into a quarrel and the child? He had already taken snacks from the fridge and fell asleep on the living room couch.
In this case, it is likely that each spouse is naturally interested in responding to the child’s request but also believes in setting boundaries. The marital quarrel “plays out” the internal conflict that each of the spouses actually experiences.
I love him, but he never closes the toothpaste tube!
Well, you say to yourself, if we were arguing about things at the top of the world: about the values we want to instill in the next generation, about the decision to live in a village or the center of New York, about investing money in the stock market or a new car … The commercials in the cinema or the color of the upholstery for the sofas ?!
It is difficult to determine whether this is good or bad news, but “quarrels over everything and nothing” are also significant quarrels. “The conflicts that are on the surface,” says Doron Weinstock, “are the conflicts that the couple is willing to admit to exist. Many times beneath the visible conflicts there are much more basic things, feelings that are hard to define in words and not always willing to admit. Quarrels over less threatening issues. “
According to Dr. Galit Lazar, many fights in married life express a power struggle in which each spouse fights for his right to be seen, heard and given enough space in the marital relationship: “The significant point is not whether the child wears red or yellow when visiting a grandmother, It is the couple who will determine what the child will wear.
Giving up in an argument takes on the meaning of losing a place in a relationship and then of course it is much harder to do it. “
Although disagreements play a significant role in marital and personal life, frictions, quarrels and conflicts can lead – as many of us know – to significant damage to the marital relationship.
Dealing with fights in married life
Of course you’re right. Always. But still, according to Dr. Galit Lazar and Doron Weinstock, the most effective method of dealing with endless quarrels in a relationship is to try to truly and deeply understand the other spouse’s side.
Yes, even if the idea of spending so much money on a dress or going twice A week to his mom sounds like a particularly bad joke to you.
“Being able to put aside one’s personal point of view and honestly try to see things through the other’s eyes,” says Doron Weinstock, “prevents in many cases rigidity and digging into positions, and allows more empathy for the other side, even if disagreement.
The problem, of course, is when it comes to sensitive issues. It is very difficult to do this alone and in these cases it is worth seeking professional help.
Seeking treatment represents the couple’s hope for a better life together, and allows observation of the difficulties as a marital problem and not just one of the spouses. Often quarrels are perceived as one spouse’s guilt. “He is stingy” (“she is nervous”) and the treatment makes it possible to examine the contribution of each of the parties to the way in which the problem is expressed in the relationship and becomes a chain of quarrels. “
Dr. Lazar also suggests seeking professional help when quarrels become a disruptive factor that undermines the marital relationship: “Conflicts can be dealt with by an in-depth examination of their origin, but many times the source touches on significant interpersonal relationships beyond ours and it is not easy to touch these places without professional assistance.
Prolonged conflicts and quarrels can lead to burnout and often a short couple counseling is very helpful – as part of the counseling you can learn how to avoid “breaking tools” and convert it into real listening to your partner’s need.
For example, we often see how repeated quarrels express a need for closeness – if we are unable to get closer to each other, we will turn to a quarrel that will make us feel that we are truly in a relationship. “