My Husband Fights With Me All The Time: Me And My Husband Fight All The Time

Almost every relationship at some point is going to experience a fight. A fight can strengthen a relationship, clear the air and resolve problems, or it can get out of hand, damage a relationship and exacerbate problems. How it goes can depend on how the fight itself is handled.

When it comes to fighting, do you find that the only thing you really believe in is winning? That attitude is deadly for relationships. For one thing, what does it mean to "win" a fight with your partner? Does it mean that you're not crying and she is? Does it mean that you've said something way meaner than he has? Does it mean that you're louder? That you could stick it out and your partner fled the room? That your partner couldn't defend his position as eloquently as you could? That you could stay coldly logical and your partner spoke of feelings?

So let's step back and figure out what "success" (rather than "winning") might mean here. In order to achieve success, it's helpful to define your goal. So what is your goal in this fight?

It might be to protect yourself. If you've been feeling wounded or endangered by your partner, the most pressing thing on your mind might be to protect yourself from further hurt.

Your goal might instead be to hurt your partner. If you're angry and feeling vengeful, then your goal might be to inflict pain.

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There is of course a third class of goal-to nurture, improve, or preserve the relationship. This is the only kind of goal that will ultimately satisfy and serve either partner. This goal can be hard to keep in mind when conflict arises. But this is the only goal where both parties actually get what they need from each other. And this is the objective that contributes to the long term well-being of the relationship and of both partners. The other goals might feel reasonable or satisfying in the short term, but they are costly in the long term. If in the end both partners are better off, and the relationship is better, that's success.

In order to help stay anchored in a positive direction, it can be useful to stay committed to the three relationship principles that I've described before-

Listening, Understanding, and Responding (LUR). Despite the fact that you know perfectly well that you're right and your partner's an idiot, step back and work together through the LUR program.

Listen to your partner. That means listening actively, giving your partner your full attention, staying open and oriented toward your partner. Active listening does not mean simply waiting your turn to talk or crafting a counterattack to everything your partner says. Your goal in listening is to Understand.

Listen until you Understand his or her point of view. Ask questions, get clarification. Keep working at it until you understand. This commitment to understanding (as opposed to winning) is the key to a successful fight.

Only once you've understood do you even consider Responding. When you respond, you need to keep in mind what your real goal is. The heat of the moment, the pain of the event, all can contribute to acting out primitively and being unduly oriented toward winning. Make sure that your response is influenced by what you understood from your partner AND that your response matches your goals.

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If your real goal is the welfare of the relationship, speak in such a way that it's safe for your partner to Listen. Stay on topic; don't go throwing in the kitchen sink. Remain as calm as you can, without a raised voice, aggressive language, or dramatic gestures. Find non-attacking ways -- like "I" statements -- to express your position. "I am anxious about how you're spending money", is much more effective and safer to hear than, "You are spending money in crazy ways!" Expressing your feelings without attacking your partner makes it much safer for your partner to Listen.

Remain committed to safe expression until your partner Understands. Work from the belief that your partner wants to understand.

Once you have evidence that your partner Understands your position and feelings, invite and allow your partner to Respond, while you LUR your partner's response.

It's true that LUR may slow down the fight and that may feel frustrating when you're really angry. But you're much more likely to be happy with the outcome.

It's been said that nobody wins in a war. In the same way, if one partner "wins" the fight, the relationship loses. But a fight, done well, can be a way for both partners, and the relationship, to win.

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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

So goes the famous Serenity Prayer. It's most well known as a major part of the Alcoholics Anonymous tradition, though it did not begin there. Originally penned by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the Serenity Prayer has much to offer alcoholics trying to heal themselves. it has just as much to say to others, particularly those trying to make marriage work.

Here's how I break it down:

Accept the things I cannot change: This means my spouse. I can't change her. The more I try, the angrier she gets, the more frustrated I become, the less serenity I have in my life. Is she chronically late for everything? Sure she is. Does she eat junk food? Yep, pretty regularly. Does she insist on having four dogs? I'm afraid so. Can I change any of this? Apparently not.

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Change the things I can: This means me. Changing myself does take courage and sometimes I don't have as much as I need. Courage to give up on things I thought were important for her to change, courage to challenge myself to stay when things aren't going my way and I'm angry, courage to push myself to grow, to accommodate, to nurture someone who doesn't always cooperate. This is hard.

Wisdom to know the difference: This is about boundaries. Just because she eats junk doesn't mean I have to. But it gets tricky. If she keeps it around I'll be tempted and that requires more courage from me. Still, my problem, not hers. Then, I have to deal with my attachment to her svelt figure. Again, my problem, not hers. If she ruins dinner for herself, I may not get any. My problem, not hers. Tell me it doesn't take wisdom and courage to cope with all this! Is my serenity worth accepting things I don't like about her? Yeah, most definitely.

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What is mind reading? It is when one person thinks he/she knows how the other person will respond. It usually starts gradually and after years of practice becomes an ingrained habit. To break the habit takes paying attention to the triggers and making a conscious decision to respond differently.

Mary and Doug had long standing communication difficulties which frequently culminated in frustrating interactions. Recently Doug sold a sail boat that had caused a lot of stress in their marriage. Although Doug had said this was their boat Mary saw it as having been his boat. She felt her input had not been taken into consideration when they bought it and the whole sailing experience had never been fun for her.

Now Doug said that the new boat would be "their" boat and he wanted to know what kind of boat Mary wanted. Whenever Mary verbalized what she wanted in a boat Doug would ask questions. When Doug questioned her, Mary found herself reverting to mind reading. In her mind she was convinced that he only gave lip service to wanting her input, he was controlling the outcome, and she knew that he really didn't care as to what she thought. This time though Mary tried to respond differently by keeping in mind tips she had learned.

Tip 1 Be in the present

This was very hard for Mary because her habit was to think that she knew from the past what would happen. Pulling herself back into the present she responded from the premise that perhaps Doug was truly asking for information.

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Tip 2 Stay in your own head

Mary realized that in the past she would have been so busy thinking of what Doug would want to hear from her and how he would respond that she would become defensive. This time she mentally calmed her anxiety, tried to stay in the present and gave him reasons as to why she thought the way she did. Mary knew that in all likelihood it would take them a while before they would come up with a decision as to which sail boat would be right for them and fit their budget.

Tip 3 Think also in terms of WE

When Mary accepted the fact that it mattered to her what boat they got she started thinking in terms of " what kind of sailboat would work for us". She dealt with Doug more as an equal partner and she expected him to include her wishes. When Mary's attitude was different it was Doug who didn't quite know how to respond to her.

Tip 4 Change is not a quick fix

It takes thought and self awareness to change habitual ways of responding. Mary and Doug's struggle to come to an agreement re: a new sailboat brings to the forefront how valuable it is for both of them to stay in the present, stay in their own head, and think in terms of WE.

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Understanding men is often made out to be something which is horrendously difficult. Some women think that us guys are almost from a different planet, alien to anything that they've ever heard of or seen. Then there are women who just "get" us. It's not that hard to do, actually. I'm going to explain how my wife uses emotional intelligence to figure out how to strengthen her connection with me, how to get better at communicating with me and how to deepen my love for her.

1. How To Strengthen The Connection

You know when you meet someone and you just have this connection with them and it just feels right? That's when there's a spark and a bit of chemistry going on. This happens pretty frequently in life, especially if you are sensitive to people in general.

The hard part is finding people who you can establish this early chemistry with and keep it going on and on for the rest of your life. A woman with emotional intelligence can do this by being more aware of how the man responds to certain things she says and does and using it in such a way to make both of them feel that "rush" you get when you start dating someone new.

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2. Better Communication

Better communication comes with practice. The more you talk, the better you get at listening as well. This is something that comes naturally with day to day interactions.

Women who are emotionally in tune with their men realize that what men say aren't necessarily what they mean. The opposite is a woman who jumps to conclusions or is too analytical when the man didn't necessarily imply anything.

3. Affection Increase

This is probably the most useful skill for a woman who is emotionally intelligent. We want nothing more than to love you more but there are literally some women out there who make it impossible for their man to love them. How?

They simply don't display the emotional understanding where they realize that everything is controlled by how they and their man respond to each other. They may do things that warrant affection, but if the man doesn't show appreciation for a gift for example, she flies off the handle. He might have a good reason for not showing appreciation up front.

For women to get better at understanding men, they have to be emotionally intelligent. This does take a bit of practice and basically revolves around women toning down their assumptions negative emotional responses to what their men do. By simply being on the same emotional wavelength as a man, he will love a woman more already.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

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