Question: We, as a maried couple for 20 years, constantly agrue and fight over almost everything. I feel insulted all the time. What do I do?
Answer: Constant arguing and fighting in a marriage can be damaging and stressful, but it is possible to work through these issues and improve the relationship.
Here are some strategies that I might suggest for resolving conflicts in a marriage:
Practice active listening: When your spouse is speaking, try to really listen to what they are saying, without interrupting or getting defensive. Repeat back what you’ve heard to make sure you understand, and ask questions to clarify their perspective.
Identify the underlying issues: Arguing and fighting often arise from deeper underlying issues, such as feelings of disrespect or unmet needs. Work with your spouse to identify these underlying issues, and address them directly in your discussions.
Seek outside help: If you’re having trouble resolving conflicts on your own, consider seeking outside help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in relationship issues. A neutral third party can help facilitate communication and provide guidance and support.
Set ground rules: Agree on some basic rules for arguing, such as avoiding name-calling or personal insults, and sticking to the topic at hand. Having these ground rules in place can help keep arguments more productive and respectful.
Practice empathy: Try to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes, and understand their perspective and feelings. Showing empathy and understanding can help to reduce defensiveness and increase cooperation.
Take time to cool off: If arguments are becoming too heated, it can be helpful to take a break and come back to the conversation when both partners are feeling calmer.
Focus on solutions: Rather than just dwelling on the problems, try to focus on finding solutions that work for both partners. Work together to find a mutually acceptable outcome, and be open to compromise.
Improving a relationship takes effort and commitment from both partners, but with the right approach, it is possible to reduce conflict and build a stronger, more loving and respectful partnership. A life coach can work with you to develop a plan for resolving conflicts and improving your relationship, and provide the support and guidance you need to achieve your goals.