Quarrels and reconciliations are an integral part of any relationship, but it is not conflicts that lead to collapse, but the behavior of each of the couple in their process. The publication INC-News.ru, together with a practicing analytical psychologist, hypnologist-regressologist, and specialist in working with the subconscious, Tatyana Duzhar, has compiled a list of fatal mistakes in family quarrels, recommendations for reducing them, as well as with clinical psychologist Daria Serebryakova about preserving and maintaining relationships.
“The ability to maintain and maintain relationships without running away at the first difficulties in the illusory hope of meeting your ideal the next day in a dating app is very important. The main guarantee of a healthy stable relationship is the absence of unrealistic expectations, the ability to self-regulate and the ability to communicate - the ability to put intolerable emotions into words in an adequate form, and not into aggression, avoidance or withdrawal into alcohol/gadgets/workaholism,” emphasizes the clinical psychologist, employee of the prevention department of the Federal State Budgetary Institution named after. V.P. Serbian Daria Serebryakova.
Practicing analytical psychologist Tatyana Duzhar identifies the following mistakes in family conflicts that undermine the foundations of family well-being, destroy trust and lead to irreversible consequences:
Pathology of "black and white" thinking
During quarrels, we often become categorical: we flatly listen to the other side because we are convinced that we are right, we want to solve the problem only this way, and in no other way, we ignore possible alternatives. We do not recognize or do not consider the partner’s position, since we have already formed a obviously “correct” vision of the situation. For this reason, “black and white” thinking distorts reality and makes constructive dialogue impossible: partners are separated from each other, turning relationships into a battlefield.
If you notice a similar pattern of behavior during quarrels on your part or on your partner’s side, try to make adjustments to it.
Take your time to form a single correct opinion. Listen to each other, determine at what point exactly your and your partner’s views differ.
Try to clarify the situation and work together to find a way out.
Use clarifying questions to better understand each other. For example: What did you mean by this phrase? Why do you care about this particular moment? What does this mean to you? When I do this, what do I become for you? What do you feel about me at this moment, what do you want to say, but are holding back?
A typical situation for many married couples is when all past, emotionally similar, unresolved misunderstandings and grievances are attributed to the cause of the quarrel.
Here it is especially important to understand your emotions and turn to self-reflection skills: why did you remember that incident? How is this similar to what your partner did now? Note the commonality of situations, but do not rush to weave this experience into the current conflict. After all, the initial task is to understand the situation and find a suitable solution. If you remember all past cases, there is a risk of aggravating your experiences, getting lost in this whirlpool of misunderstanding and not coming to a resourceful end to the conflict.
Learn to focus on the “here and now” rather than the grievances of the past.
Suppression of feelings and emotions
This point is a continuation of the error discussed above. Feelings tend to accumulate, especially if you hold them back and hide them inside yourself for a long time. It is advisable to share dissatisfaction, misunderstanding or rejection at the moment when it occurs in your relationship. Be careful with your partner’s feelings, using the “I-message” technique (“I get very worried when you stay late and don’t warn me. At such moments, it seems to me that you don’t appreciate my feelings and forget how important it is to me . I would really like you to try to call me on those days when you have to stay late at work. This will make it easier for me,” etc.) you will be able to clearly identify the aspect with which you disagree.
Involvement of a third party
It often happens that during a quarrel a couple seeks to involve someone else from the family in the conflict. Most often, this person is a child or parent of a spouse. Don’t forget, your conflict is a difference of opinion regarding a pressing issue or a misunderstanding in the area of feelings, and the two of you are enough to find the right answers. You should not look for a judge: firstly, it is unfair to your partner, who will be left alone against you and your ally, and secondly, a participant forcibly invited into a family quarrel will feel guilty, since his word and choice can resolve a lot and lead to to new misunderstandings and emotional outbursts.
The game “complaining champion” or “which of us is worse?”
It happens that instead of actively discussing the problem that has arisen, partners plunge into the role of the Victim. The conversation smoothly moves away from the quarrel to listing all complaints and discontent, labeling or finding the partner’s wrongs in past episodes. Understand that such a pattern will create an even greater gap between you and your partner and will not resolve the conflict.
It is also recommended to refrain from phrases of the following type:
- remember yourself...
- unlike you, I...
- and here you are...
- maybe you remember how...
- for as long as I've known you...
By actively getting involved in a quarrel, partners often try on the role of a tough ruler seeking to overthrow the “enemy” and achieve complete power and control. This is accompanied by devaluing remarks, ridicule, mockery, deliberate pressure on the partner’s vulnerable spots, verbal insults and humiliation. This model of behavior creates an atmosphere of non-use, hostility, and walking through a minefield in the family.
If you see yourself in this approach, bring back the clarity and understanding that a relationship with a loved partner, even in a moment of conflict, is still a relationship with a loved partner. He/she is not an enemy, not a traitor, not someone who needs to be eliminated and defeated by any means.
You are together, you are at the same time, and your goal is to work together, with understanding and care for each other, to deal with the problem that has arisen.
Frequent use of such mistakes during quarrels can lead to a fatal outcome of relationships, since in an atmosphere of suppression, control and misunderstanding, love quickly fades. We sincerely hope that awareness of these mistakes will help you reconsider your attitude towards how to build conflicts and what methods of regulating them to adhere to.