How To Break The Cycle Of Having Those Same Old Fights (Again & Again!)

Love, Family

Do you find that you seem to get into the same fights over and over again?

It can be with your friends, parents, children or partner —  the outcome will be the same: you try to communicate, but nothing seems to change.

Sound familiar?

You're not imagining it.

Often, when we feel threatened, we tend to stick with what is familiar. So it's no surprise that our fights or arguments just seem to go around in circles.

We say something, the other person feels threatened and fights back, nothing is resolved, and it all starts over again when we bring the situation up again.

Allowing this cycle to continue will only add stress to your relationships — maybe even ruin them.

In our latest Facts Of Love video, Expert Dr. Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist and author of Prescriptions Without Pills, provides a three-step solution to help you break the cycle and actually get results.

Step one: Set the scene.


Timing and body language are everything.

If you have the same fight while you're hungry or tired, nothing will happen.

Find a nice quiet time when there won't be any interruptions, or make time by taking a walk together.

Whatever you choose, make sure you show that you are companions and trying to figure it out together — not adversaries.

Step two: Verbalize your concerns.


Don't make it sound like an attack. Voice them as "My concern is..." as opposed to "I need to..." or "You need to..."

It's also important to make sure the other person is heard, so be sure to take turns.

For example, if you and your spouse are arguing about who should put the kids to bed after dinner, the conversation can go like this:

"My concern is that I am tired after dinner from working a long day."

"My concern is that the children like to spend that special time with you in the evening."

Yes, concerns can be both negative and positive. It's important to vocalize all of the concerns so you both see the whole story.

Step three: Create a plan of action.


Create a plan, rather than trying to solve the problem straightaway.

The difference lies in how you figure out the solution.

Telling the other person what they should do will not only put them on the defensive, but also potentially make them antagonistic — which will get you nowhere. Instead, offer your own contributions.

"I know you're tired after work and don't enjoy getting the kids to brush their teeth, so I will help them brush and wash while you take a short nap."

"I don't mind going up and helping the kids get into pajamas while you get dinner ready."

Addressing eachother's concerns will show you're really listening to them and want to find a solution together.

Once you feel like you're part of a team and not adversaries, there is nothing you won't be able to solve together.

And hopefully, that'll be the end of the fight you keep having over and over again. 

If you want more information on how you can deal with family stress, arguments or anger (without medication), you can contact Dr. Susan Heitler at her website, She’s here to help!

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