How to Break a Loop of Repeating the Same Argument
Arguing, or at least discussing things with different levels of emotion, is an almost inevitable part of a long-term relationship. Not only that, but whether you realize it or not, many disagreements (or quarrels, quarrels, or whatever you want to call them) tend to be related to the same root problems in your relationship.
Even if the fight starts out entirely over something else, there is a good chance that you will somehow revert to the same argument that you had with your partner countless times before.
It can go so far as to feel that you are trapped in a cycle of anger, frustration, and disappointment towards your partner. But, according to Dr. Margaret Rutherford , clinical psychologist and author of The Completely Disguised Depression , there are ways to stop this pattern. Here are some tips from her, from a recent interview she gave to her father .
Don’t let resentment build up
Many people will try their best to avoid conflict of any type, especially with their partner. So instead of letting your partner know when he’s upset or annoyed, he just holds back and doesn’t say a word. But Rutherford says this is the wrong approach, and resentment builds up over time:
No, that doesn’t mean you have to start fighting – although we are all to blame for this from time to time too – it means that I say, “Hey, just so you know,” X made me angry about Y, so I will grateful if you were Z. “Yes, we all need to know when and where to raise problems, but it is better to pick up something small than hold everything and explode later.
Don’t label your partner to automatically blame him
As humans, we love to organize things into categories and use this information to explain certain situations instead of thinking them over completely. It can happen in relationships too, Rutherford says, when we declare that our partner has certain qualities that make him to blame for many of your fights. “How often do we label each other?” she questions. “We say, ‘You are wasteful, or you are greedy, or you are out of control.’ Nobody wants to be labeled. “
Instead, Rutherford suggests asking yourself why this particular argument so often makes you so angry:
For example, try saying, “I’m scared when you spend money because I grew up in a family where we didn’t.” Talking directly about yourself gives you a deeper understanding of where you came from and also allows your partner to share. Ultimately, you are not labeling someone who says, “This is the effect of your actions on me.”
Raise controversial topics before you get angry.
If most of your fights with your partner are directly or indirectly related to one specific topic (for example, money, parenting, home, etc.), Rutherford recommends that you discuss this issue when you are not angry with each other, rather than to a blazing battle. “Take the risk of being vulnerable and express how you really feel, ” she says fatherly . “Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help.”