Breaking Out of Old Marital Conflicts

Many couples are suffering due to on-going patterns of circular conflicts that never end well. These types of situations are not just exhausting they can lead couples to a disconnect that may not reflect the truth of their relationship.

So let’s start with what any conflict should end with.

When done well, conflict should end with more connection, more trust, more understanding and more love.

If that’s not what’s happening it’s a sign of a problem with the couple’s understanding of two core elements – translation and meaning.

A certain level of conflict is normal in fact I see conflict as another form of intimacy because at that moment each person is open and sharing a perspective which is their truth.

Naturally, conflict is not the intimacy most couples would ever want, but it can be helpful in resetting and growing their connection if they know what they are doing.

It’s also about energy which some couples are severely lacking.

For example, I have seen many couples come to me who never argue and are seemingly proud of this achievement totally unaware that almost every couple I’ve seen that doesn’t argue will also have a dead sex life too.

So when couples enter a pattern of conflict you’ll notice they are both trying to get a message through to each other.

If you filmed them it would look like two five-year-olds in a playground as they both try to be right, whilst stuck in a pattern of attack, defend and counter-attack.

Some people will feel their partner unfairly twists their words, some feel their partner is lying, some can’t get their partner to stick to the point as the conflict meanders.

Whatever the cycle, the couple is not seeing what’s happening so some think more force, more convincing, more shouting and their message will eventually sink in.

For some, they will retreat either by seeing there is no point and for some, it’s self-preservation or simply running out of energy or reasons to fight.

To be clear the danger point with couples that do argue is when they stop seeing the point and now a shut-down and stonewalling becomes a place where they can emotionally exit the relationship or they can plan to physically exit.

So the question is what is really going on, why do so many couples get stuck in this horrible cycle?

The answer is in understanding what they are not seeing.

You see, the energy the couples are exerting is rooted in passion that’s misdirected. Imagine being able to redirect all their energy into their bedroom.

With the right understanding, this is totally possible for many couples who want to learn how.

Both people in conflict are going to be passionate to get their point across to each other, so it means their partner hearing their issues is going to be important to them.

What they are not seeing is the way they are being open and passionate with each other is moving them to protect themselves from each other, this is catastrophic, especially if practised frequently.

The couple must find a way to be free to share openly with each other, this cannot be blocked, but it also cannot land in a way that leads either person to protect themselves from each other.

Can you now see the conundrum.

This is why the conundrum couples suffer with comes down to translation and meaning.

Are both people translating each other correctly?

Men and women are really not good at translating each other at the best of times, so compound their disconnect at the point of upset with a battle means they are both never going to connect with what is really going on.

Let’s look at an example I have witnessed. It’s not uncommon for me to arrange an argument in the session so I can learn how they do it.

This learning is critical if I’m to help them stop it and re-pattern it so it works to connect them.

One lady told her husband he was a terrible husband and she didn’t know if she could ever trust him again.

His translation of her words; she was ungrateful and unfair, he had done everything for her, in his own pain he instantly responded with how awful she had been too.

They cycled through this blame and defend cycle which was not helpful at all on any level.

After 5 minutes I stopped them and shared what was happening.

In this case, I could see the wife was in severe emotional pain, she was hoping her husband would step-up and support her, love her, fight for her.

She was using harsh words and sentences to wake him up to the pain she was in, she couldn’t believe he was constantly making her pain about him.

He was unaware this was her real message because he was focused (as most men naturally do) on her exact words and this lead him to feel that what she said she actually meant and she meant it forever.

His translation of her words was devastating in the moment because he couldn’t see a way back if that’s how she really felt, so he lashed out at her from his own position of pain.

She had no idea this is how he would take her words and was shocked when instead of supporting her and looking after her, he lashed out at which unsettling her even more.

She was trying to get him to protect and love her, but he was too focused protecting himself from losing her love.

They both wanted love, but had no clue as to how to create it together and they were killing the love they both so desperately craved.

You see both people were responding naturally to each other, but neither was connected to the others correct translation, meaning, perspective or needs.

This is a critical problem that has to be understood  if their relationship is ever going to make sense.

The most common problem all couples face is their inability to correctly translate each others words and actions.

Understanding how to correctly translate what your partner is saying is critical or it’s missing the meaning and intent that sits at the core of a persons actions.

A connection to your partners meanings is core to the success of any marriage, yet so few take the time to look for those truths.

If you would like to see your problems in solvable terms and gain clarity on the circular conflicts like this couple please now apply for your answers here.




About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.