How To Stop Having The Same Relationship Fights Over And Over Again

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Love

You want to have a conversation with your partner and feel heard and listened to, but it always degenerates into the same arguments. In any relationship, fights can be pretty common, but you're likely tired of repeating the same problems.

You may have tried talking calmly, yelling, and you even may have tried the silent treatment. You feel stuck. You're tired of asking yourself, “Why do we keep having the same arguments?”

RELATED: 5 Simple Ways To Stop Arguments In Their Tracks & Get Closer To Your Partner

Having the same relationship fights is exhausting.

The result of arguing about the same topics over and over is that your frustration level increases, and you may feel drained.

Usually, couples become concerned and worried when they're stuck in circular conversations that lead nowhere and appear to provide no resolutions to their issues.

What causes recurring arguments in relationships?

Your argument might be about anything, such as feeling like it's the hundredth time you've told your partner to pick up their dirty clothes, or that you've been kept in the dark about the flood of Amazon packages arriving all week. 

It could be inappropriate texting on social media, or simply not listening to you.

No matter what the topic of the argument is this time, Dr. Stan Tatkin, the founder of PACT and author of We Do, indicated that memory, perception, and communication are the cause for arguments.

We rely on our memory, yet it changes according to our current state of mind and, therefore, is unreliable.

For example, if you are feeling negative about yourself, you might interpret your partner as being reluctant to spend time with you. But that might not be the case at all.

Due to your emotional state, you may perceive your partner’s actions negatively.

Perception is impacted by your state of mind and your memory.

For example, you had a long drive home and there was an accident on the road, so you were 45 minutes late. When your partner asks you, “What happened?” you could either interpret this question as an attack. 

Or you might understand that he's truly interested. It depends on your feelings before you enter your home.

Communication is a series of signal-response cues given and received by your partner and you. We all make many errors sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal communication.

How you interpret a word, facial expressions, tone of voice, and many other cues can cause miscommunication. For example, the word “fat” and “phat” sounds the same when said, but have two different meanings.

Unless you know the context of how it's being used, you could be offended if someone told you, “You’re phat!”

RELATED: 9 Smart Ways To Change The Way You Argue That Actually Work

Arguments and conflicts occur when couples ignore or dismiss their partners' dreams and hopes.

Couples have the same arguments over and over again when their dreams are not validated and respected.

Dr. John Gottman stated, “Acknowledging and respecting each other’s deepest, most personal hopes and dreams is the key to saving and enriching your marriage.”

You probably want your partner to support and encourage your hopes and dreams, just like your partner wants you to support his hopes and dreams.

Dr. Gottman's three types of relationship problems.

Dr. John Gottman defines three types of relationship problems:

  • Solvable
  • Unsolvable
  • Gridlocked perpetual

Solvable problems vary from couple to couple, but they can find a solution to their issue.

Housekeeping, intimacy, and money can be a solvable or perpetual problem. It depends on whether or not there are deeper meanings for each partner around the topic.

Perpetual problems are, “problems that center on either fundamental differences in your personalities, or fundamental differences in your lifestyle needs.” Perpetual problems will cause repeated arguments.

Gridlocked perpetual problems differ from perpetual problems, because the issues have been poorly addressed, or one or both of the partners have a hidden agenda or agendas.

In order to stop having the same repeated arguments, here are a 5 things you could try.

1. Listen to your partner.

When your partner starts talking, even if you disagree strongly, listen rather than talking over them. The same arguments might sound different if you just listened.

Of course, you need to be heard, too. Take turns sharing your thoughts and feelings on the matter.

2. Become a "dream catcher."

You can begin by discussing dreams and hopes that you may have avoided or ignored in the past.

3. Discuss your views without criticism or blame.

Your goal is to try to understand each other’s ideas without judgment. Find one part of the dream or hope that you can agree on or resolve.

4. Soothe each other.

When you have the same arguments over and over again, this type of communication (or lack of communication) is usually very stressful for a couple.

It's likely that one or both of you may get angry or not be able to continue the conversation and shut down. Before you start talking about the unresolved topic, you should decide how you will soothe or deescalate yourselves.

5. Understand that gridlock issues may be unsolvable.

Your goal is to try to stop hurting each other by not having the same arguments without resolution.

You can ask yourself, “Is there any way to create a win-win solution around this issue or any small part of this issue?” You will want to be as flexible as possible.

Arguments and disagreements are inevitable in any relationship.

When you have the same arguments over and over again with no resolution, you will inevitably feel drained. You can learn the steps to stop or diminish having the same arguments in your own home on a safe teletherapy platform.

RELATED: The 4-Part Exercise That Is Key To Effective, Zero-Arguing Communication

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Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a licensed counselor in the state of Maryland. She works with couples to help them reduce stress and conflict in their relationships. If you need support to get things back on track, reach out to Lisa for a 30 minute Free private consultation today.

This article was originally published at Baltimore Counselor. Reprinted with permission from the author.