Episode 2 of our podcast Under the Covers is now on Soundcloud!
Have you ever gotten stuck in an argument with your partner?
We're originally talking about meal planning for the week, and then, ten minutes later, suddenly we're shouting at each other, criticizing our partner for what an irresponsible financial planner they are, comparing our partners to their grumpy mothers, swearing at each other.
How did we get here?
Criticism is a failed attempt to get a need met. If I'm feeling some sort of emotional discomfort or anxiety, it's far easier to criticize my partner's efforts than dealing with my unmet need and the reason I may have that need.
However, if I'm criticized by my partner, I'm left with two options: defend myself or shut down. I might say, "I don't deserve this. You're the one that always waits until the last minute." Defensiveness quickly turns to criticism, and the goal of these conversations often switches from mutual respect to winning the argument.
And we do whatever it takes to win the argument. Bringing up transgressions that happened three years ago. Raising our voices. Creating a laundry list of reasons why our perspective is better and more correct than our partners.
Whenever we win an argument, we lose some part of the relationship, and it takes some effort to rebuild security and sanity.
The goal of our work is not to help you stop arguing altogether, as it's imperative that your relationship has room to celebrate the differences between you and your partner, but rather to find healthy ways to end arguments that also support the relationship. Stephanie and Jeremiah share several tips for helping create these effective endings.