When your lover loves fighting

Friday, April 16th, 2021 00:00 |
Allan Lawrence, relationship expert.

Nailantei Norari @artnorari

Ever heard of a relationship where the partners are always fighting such that when they are not, people think there is something wrong?

Unfortunately, this is common with some people willing to settle for any form of interaction arguing that this is preferable to being single.

While conflict in a relationship is inevitable, is it healthy to always be in one?

To fight or not to

“Society has normalised fighting in relationships. You often hear many coupled people romanticising fights arguing that they have incredible sex and feel closer after.

It is indeed true that sex is normally great after a fight due to the heightened emotions.

But fighting should be healthy and fair. It should not be the jumpstart key that one partner reaches for any time they are experiencing marital problems,” Maurice Matheka, a relationship expert and sexologist says.

He adds that when two people spend a lot of time together, with their lives intertwined, they are bound to disagree from time to time.

The crux of the matter is in how they handle conflicts. Do they make up and get each other to come down from the high volatility of the fight or do they stay angry and quiet towards each other?

He expounds that this is why many passive aggressive people tend to escalate fights as there is no resolution of emotions at the end of the fight. 

“Research shows that couples who argue and fight in a healthy way end up being closer as they get to understand each other better.

While this is true, recurring fights, especially about the same things tend to breed resentment, which can spell the demise of the relationship.

It can also lead one partner to have negative emotions towards the warring partner.

At times, one can be in a relationship with a high conflict partner. This is someone who thrives in a fight and is always looking for one,” Maurice posits.

Allan Lawrence, a life coach and relationship expert agrees with this. He talks of how most high conflict people suffer from insecurity.

“The funny thing is that someone can be a high conflict person in one relationship and a seemingly amicable person in another.

This means that the person will be of normal temperament with friends and a volatile ticking time bomb in a romantic relationship.

Often times, the person will be insecure in the relationship where they find reasons to fight the most about.

They are seeking validity and assurance by fighting and getting any sort of emotion from their partner,” Allan elaborates.

But how do you deal with a high conflict person if you find yourself coupled with them, especially since research shows that they tend to revel in pushing their partner’s buttons, both right and wrong, all the time?

Maurice believes that fighting can help find each other’s triggers and buttons as the partners learn what gets the other person extremely mad, slightly mad or even happy.

But instead of pushing the buttons discovered, one should learn the triggers and buttons to help avoid future conflicts and help heal their partner. 

Triggers and buttons

“Most fights escalate because some past insecurity or hurt has resurfaced due to the hurt or words volleyed by a partner in a current situation.

It is, therefore, important for both parties to be self-aware such that whenever they feel tempted to get a raise out of their partner, they look inward to know why they need a fight so badly, or why those particular words or actions hurt. Are they hurting and hence feel the need to fight?

Are they looking for the familiar rise of emotions they get from a fight? They should pinpoint these issues and learn how to deal with them without necessarily fighting with their partner.

They should also communicate clearly and concisely on what they need changed or done in order to resolve the fight, avoid a repetition of the same and move forward,” Maurice advises.

Allan underlines the importance of involving a neutral party. The neutral party can help the couple objectively view the frequent fights and help determine whether any of them is a high conflict personality and what can be done to resolve the issues.

“If you are averse to getting outside help, decide how to move forward and learn in what ways you might be enabling the multiple fights.

Do you need to communicate better and have clearer boundaries? Is the relationship salvageable or are you going to be fighting perpetually till you are old?

Decide to get a change, either by seeking a resolution for the fighting or breaking up with your partner.

Remember that change is hard, whether you choose to work through the fears and insecurities of your ever fighting partner or decide to move on with a broken heart,” Allan says.

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