Some marriages and relationships deteriorate into constant conflict, bickering and despair. The partners act as if they can’t help themselves, like they are out of control and locked-in to repetitive combat. It becomes a destructive habit that perpetually rips each member asunder and keeps them at a distance of non-trust from one another.
Often, couples become so accustomed to being hostile toward one another that they begin to feel as if it does not faze them much. They expect and tolerate it. Unfortunately, they can be blind to how negatively their hostility impacts their partner, children and others close to them. Usually, both parties self-righteously blame one another and stick to their self-serving positions and never yield. That’s why they never stop arguing. Neither one reflects and decides to discontinue engaging in their repetitive, predictable and hostile behavior. Eventually, the distance gradually escalates and can make way for heightened aggression and violence as they grow accustomed to it.
Underneath, each partner is usually in despair and does not know how to exit the intense habits they’ve established. At some point, one partner may eventually decide to eject themselves from the relationship through separation and divorce. Meanwhile, the kids have been frightened and observed poor role models. Upon parent separation, children often lose the one thing that they love in their life – their family.
Fortunately, it does not need to end this way. Couple therapy can help reverse this destructive way of interacting, if each partner takes personal responsibility for their own behavior and its effects. They can start their repair work and learn new ways of relating, supporting and soothing one another.
Psychotherapy can help couples to disable the destructive pattern and ignite a healing process. Or, one or both partners may come to the conclusion that they must leave the relationship. Either way, the persistent and destructive conflict ceases and both gain more awareness of their patterns. With this new insight, it may become harder for them to fall into this pattern again.
There is real hope for arguing couples. Ceasefires can work and new behaviors learned to improve and enrich the relationship.
You can do this. It can get better. There’s hope for you.
If you are trapped in intense and repetitive relationship conflict,
Call Dr. Miller TODAY at 805-448-5053