Couple – Arguing strategically
In couples’ therapy, you have to pay attention to what type of couple you are dealing with. In some cases, making peace between them could be counterproductive, for some of them quarrels are the “engine”.
The important thing is to argue strategically:
In general, it would be better not to avoid quarrels; the integrity of a couple is threatened more by indifference. In fact, their health can be measured by the number of conflicts faced and resolved. Sometimes you decide not to fight because of a passive resignation, because you don’t feel able to face the situation, or because of the very dangerous tendency to accumulate anger within yourself, and then maybe you end up exploding in a bad way. If there is an elephant in the center of the room, we must talk about it, certainly not ignore it. Indifference works in the short term, but in the long run it is counterproductive.
We should not fear the suffering deriving from quarrels (“suffering has the task of awakening us” – J. Morrison), to make us understand what to change, to make us active and not to take the relationship for granted.
Always arguing about the same thing is unproductive and generates boredom. This can be a wake-up call to contact a professional, especially if the content of the quarrel concerns an important issue, such as mutual respect, sexuality or the education of children.
It is important to focus on the present and not on the past; this can no longer be changed, a time machine would be needed but unfortunately it does not exist… Reviving the past can only be a source of discontent; our memory tells us so many lies, so both of us will even have different memories of the experience and this may generate further problems.
Never fight in the bedroom. This must remain a place dedicated to pleasure and rest; if the fight starts there, force yourself to change rooms. Changing the scenario could also change the dynamics of the quarrel itself, but I don’t anticipate anything … you will find out for yourself.
If we want to get some benefit from a fight it is very important to try not to scream; in every type of “communication” the “way” in which things are said is very important, more than the content. By exacerbating the tones, the other person can withdraw and if this happens it does not matter that what we are saying is true, she will never admit it.
If possible, at the end of an argument, calm down, do something pleasant together. This will create the conditions for the quarrel to be perceived as a more or less positive parenthesis but which does not in itself define the relationship.
“Anything that can do very well, in an overdose, turns into a poison” – Hippocrates