How to overcome a couple quarrel

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Robert Maurer

How to overcome a couple quarrel

Last update: May 09, 2015

Marriage quarrels are quite common; they arise for various reasons and can trigger strong conflicts. To overcome and control the anger born at the root of a conflict, it is essential to understand both what our feelings are and those of our partner.

Why do couples quarrel

Before we tell you how to control couple fights or how to deal with them, it is important to know why we get angry: what is the origin of couple arguments?

Normally, couples argue over five major issues: money, sex, in-laws, home and work problems, and family enlargement (having children). However, the anger is really triggered when one of the members of the couple feels that they are not getting enough attention from the other; the pain that this lack of connection causes is caused by anger. In this case, therefore, anger would be a representation of fear and anxiety for fear of no longer being in connection with the other, a sort of survival mechanism.

Anger and the expression of emotions during the fight

A 2012 study on the communication of emotions during quarrel in married couples by Keith Sanford, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, shows that couples are very good at reading their partner's emotions during an argument. The problem is that the meaning of these emotions, especially anger, is not always evident.

Sanford found that, when an argument is repeated over and over, couples express anger during the conflict without giving weight to other emotions they feel and without thinking that this behavior could lead to further problems. This is how this attitude turns into a trap from which it is difficult to escape.

Furthermore, according to Sanford, when a member of the couple is angry, they are very likely to forget the feeling of sadness that he / she and his partner feel in the background. Other previous studies reveal that expressing sadness brings the two sides closer and helps them overcome litigation. That is, if sadness is made known during a conflict, it will be resolved more easily. What is complicated is noticing sadness when under the effects of anger.

How to deal with a conflict in the couple

When couples have conflicts, it is very important to be clear about the purpose of the discussion, which most couples don't.

Getting angry and sparking an argument without being aware of your feelings can cause an explosion of anger, which becomes a defense against our vulnerability. This hinders the understanding of the true feelings they are experiencing, especially sadness, and causes anger in the other half of the couple as well. This situation generates a cycle of constant discussions that leads nowhere.

However, the result will be different if both parts of the couple stop for a moment to try to understand what the other's real feelings are and are willing to express their emotions so that there can be a change.

Image courtesy of Vic

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