I get so many great questions from people and I like to share the answers on my blog because I know other people have the same questions and don’t always want to ask. So, here is a question I have gotten recently from someone looking for a therapist:
Why do couples argue all the time and what do you do in therapy with couples who always end up in arguments?
Couples end up in arguments for various reasons. A lot of times it’s because they don’t feel like the other person really hears them (often times both people in the relationship don’t feel heard), they are feeling attacked so they go into defense mode, or there are so many resentments built up that one (or both) people cannot tolerate the other person’s needs. Generally, when couples end up in an argument when they talk, I will observe and look at where things go wrong in their discussion. I have found that the “golden rule” doesn’t always apply in relationships. It could be that you talk to your spouse in a way you would want to be spoken to, but that doesn’t work for them. I will help you figure out how to talk in a way they prefer and in a way that they can hear. It’s like buying your spouse (for their birthday) the gift you have always wanted. They might not want the same thing as you would want. They might not be overjoyed as you would have expected. Why? Because it is what YOU want, not what THEY want. Once we work on communication techniques, listening skills and helping each person feel heard, we can often get to the core of the problem.