Give him the opportunity to be there and show up for you in a real way to bring you closer.
Does it feel like even though you and your partner are fighting constantly, your relationship problems never get resolved? In my experience, this happens because couples fight about the surface argument -- not the deeper wounds and fears that lie underneath.
So -- if you want to solve your relationship problems once and for all, you have to get to the bottom of what’s causing the fights. Here are some tips to get you started:
#1. Find out if your fight is about something deeper.
Sometimes a fight is about a deeper issue, and other times it’s just about the fact that your guy left the toilet seat up! How can you tell the difference? If you feel yourself getting more angry than the situation merits, by lashing out and threatening to break up with him because he didn’t take out the trash like you asked, that’s a telltale sign that you’re upset about something bigger.
#2. Figure out what’s really making you so angry.
To get to the bottom of what’s really making you upset, ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of being left out? Of not being wanted? Of being taken for granted? Of not being good enough? Sit with this question for a while and search for the underlying fear.
#3. Acknowledge your fears and stop blaming your guy.
Once you’ve pinpointed the underlying fear, acknowledge that even though your partner is triggering this wound, it’s not all about him. Take ownership of your side of the fence, and prepare to work with him to resolve the conflict.
#4. Talk to your partner about what you learned.
Your final step is to talk to your partner about what you discovered about yourself. Explain to him that his behavior triggers a very uncomfortable fear for you, and ask him to work with you so the two of you can solve it for good. Try saying something like:
“Babe, you know I always get really upset when you do XYZ. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and I realized that I have this deep fear that I’ll be taken for granted and not genuinely cared about, and that’s why I overreact. I know it’s a fear within me, and that you don’t take me for granted and that you do love me, but I’m hoping that you can treat me a little more gently in this area since we both know it’s a trigger for me. What do you think?”
Once you’ve opened up to your partner about your fears, the two of you can work together to prevent your fighting from driving the wedge of blame between you. Your man can start by being more sensitive to your feelings, and you can help by keeping your emotions in check, and remembering that your anger isn’t all about him and what he’s doing wrong.
It can feel very vulnerable and even scary to admit that you have fears and “insecurities”. Putting yourself out there in this way will give him the opportunity to be there and to show up for you in a real way and ultimately bring the two of you closer. If he can’t be sensitive to the underlying fear or worse uses this new knowledge to manipulate or put you down in some way, you may have to face that fact that he is not the right guy for you.