Couples

Couples Seeing The Bigger Picture During Fights

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Sometimes an issue looms so large that all else is obscured, and both partners find it very important to be proven right. One way to increase the health of your relationship is to make sure you take time to step back and see the bigger picture, not letting your goals for the relationship be overridden by your goals in a fight. The two are often at odds.

What you have to ask yourself is if the things you are saying to one another are nourishing, increasing your health and happiness, or are draining, causing discord and decay. By moving to the meta level and thinking about your larger goals for the relationship, about how you want to treat one another and how you want the relationship to be, you get away from the pettiness.

You don’t want to use this strategy as a tool to change up the conversation just because you are losing, or it will lack authenticity and from the perspective of your partner will lose its significance before long. But if you can genuinely say that, regardless of who is right or wrong, all you care about is the health of your relationship and creating the ideal conditions to help your partner be happy, you will notice the tone and meaning of your encounter change as you both focus your energy on positive goals.

If your message is authentic your partner will respond in kind, and you can start having the honest conversation that might uncover some of the deeper existential reasons for the superficial fights you have. When we feel supported and encouraged to grow we tend to summon up the courage to be truly honest with ourselves and the people closest to us  about what the necessary conditions are for our happiness and how these conditions have been blocked in the past.

Whatever your foibles and whatever mistakes you’ve made, if you remember to make it known that your overriding goal is to strengthen your relationship, you will probably fight much less frequently because things won’t be blown out of proportion and you’ll both remember all of the good things you are doing for each other.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.

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