Most arguments in couple relationships, and most family relationships, are cyclic in nature. People often argue about the same thing and do it again, and again, and again.
Content and Process in Couple Arguments
The argument can be broken into two parts – content and process.
What is topic of the argument, or what is the trigger for the argument. This could be the way to load the dishwasher, the colour to paint the walls, the chores around the house, or something else. This is known as content.
The process is what the argument is really about. This could be not being heard in the relationship, being criticised, not feeling loved, not being valued, not being understood, or something else. This is really what is hurting but the argument manifests itself in the content.
Most couples are unable to separate these two parts of the argument. And this is where couple counselling can really help.
Argument never gets resolved
The argument never really gets resolved because the needs of both partners in the couple relationship are not met. The couple argument will continue as long as one or both partners feel unvalued and unloved in the relationship. Or whatever it is that their needs are in the relationship that are unmet.
Anger from previous unresolved arguments then makes its way into new arguments and that then intensifies the ongoing argument. Unfinished arguments also leave both partners frustrated and unhappy.
How Couple Counselling helps
Couple counselling can help both partners to express and have their needs met in a healthy way without having to get into an argument about it. Finding the process is sometimes easy in a couple argument but this can also be elusive. Through ongoing sessions in couple counselling, I will aim to help you convert some of these unhealthy expressions of frustration and anger into healthy ones.