Are you tired of fighting with your partner?
Here’s a tip from Adam Blum, director of GTC, on what’s really going on during those fights in your relationship. Underneath most every fight is something else. It’s usually not about the topic you’re fighting about. And typically what is that? It’s what we therapists call attachment needs.
Tired of Fighting With Your Partner?
Are you tired of having so many fights with your partner? Here’s a tip from a gay relationship therapist on what’s really going on when you’re fighting in your relationship.
Underneath most every fight is something else. It’s usually not about the topic you’re fighting about. And typically what is that? It’s what we therapists call attachment needs.
What are attachment needs?
So for example, it might look like this. You’re fighting because once again, he forgot to bring home the milk, even though you reminded him twice. Well, that’s annoying, of course.
But why does it really, really, really bother you? Because of the underlying feeling.
The underlying underlying feeling might be something like, “You weren’t listening to me.” “You didn’t listen to me.” And what’s that, like? Well, that usually leads to, “Oh, it feels like you don’t love me. You don’t care about me. You’re not there for me.” Those are core attachment feelings.
These core attachment feelings drive almost every fight in relationships.
They come from childhood, they’re built in. Think about it – toddlers will actually die if they’re not attached to their adult caregivers. So it’s a matter of life or death for humans, whether they are attached to others. And this follows us up into our adult love.
So when you’re fighting about something, can you change the topic of the conversation rather than the fight of the day, whether it’s about soap scum, or dishes, or cooking, or errands, or chores? And go underneath and say something like, “I think I’m feeling really dropped right now. I feel emotionally dropped right now.”
It’s unlikely you’re going to have a fight about whether or not you feel emotionally dropped. You will have a fight about soap scum and dishes.
But if you’re talking about the underlying feelings, that tends to stop the fighting, and then we get to the core of what’s really going on.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a conversation about how you’re feeling in this fight? Or what drives it? These tender feelings about whether your partner really loves you? We know that our partners love us, but underneath there may be some underlying anxiety from these attachment needs.
Talking about what’s going on underneath the fighting and getting some reassurance about that usually is a quick way to resolve the argument.
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