Conflict feels awful. It’s confusing, and hard to figure out why you can’t get through to the other person. People can get stuck in the pursue-withdraw cycle, where one pursues, needing resolution, and the other shuts down, certain that more talking just means more fighting.
Worse, there can sometimes be something called a trust/attachment rupture (affair, abandonment, betrayal) that fundamentally shifts how secure you feel and close you can be. People aren’t sure if they can open their heart up again.
A negative, eroding cycle starts to take over. The conflict happens more often and you both are quick to reactivity. Here’s where two beliefs start to form:
I am shit. I am a terrible, terrible wife/husband/person and clearly don’t know what I’m doing.
They are shit. They are a bad, bad wife/husband/person and it’s mostly their fault.
Here’s the good news - there is a third path, you don’t need to take either of those two above!
I will try to help you guys see what is actually happening and understand what is going on in these confusing moments, and we will all work to give you a more secure and predictable relationship. When a relationship is truly secure, there is much less conflict and much more respect and appreciation.
If you could change this by just changing behaviors, you would have already. Our work targets the security and emotional bonds of the relationship, because that is usually difficult work to be aware of on your own.