Have your marriage fights increased lately? Let's talk about it.In this #loveshiftlive mini-class I cover:
+ The 3 ways we can handle conflict so that the relationship grows.
+ How to be heard in your relationship.
+ WHY fights in your relationship are escalating
+ WHAT you can do to handle disagreements in a way that works for you both.
Join us for a FOLLOW UP conversation inside my free Facebook group right here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/loveshift/
[00:00:02] If fights in your relationships are increasing or if the fights in your relationship are getting ugly. This is for you, Welcome to today's Love Shift Live.
[00:00:16] Today, I'm going to speaking be speaking to you about why relationships get messy when we fight or why fights escalate. I'm going to be sharing with you what you can do about it.
[00:01:05] I've been I've been seen a lot of talk on Facebook about handling fights in people's relationships. One of the things that I saw was, you know, the thing that that "whenever I stand up for myself and I end up being told that I'm controlling".
[00:01:25] I wanted to share with you some of the big mistakes we make when when we're in fights and what you can do about it to reduce the amount of fights that you're having.
[00:01:42] So a lot of band aid tips are given when it comes to fights around relationships..
I see often one of the first things that people say is: "You need to stand up for yourself." The problem with this is, is that it doesn't address the deeper issue.
I'm not saying that people mustn't stand up for themselves, but that standing up for yourself without doing other things, it's not addressing the deeper issues that got you into this escalation of fights that you may be experiencing.
[00:02:16] This is where in the process you're going to find yourself labeled as controlling for you.
For you it feels like you're standing up for yourself.
But for the person that you're dealing with, they feel like you're trying to control them.
If you are standing up for yourself from a place of disempowerment, you are likely to be experienced as aggressive rather than expressive. Right.
[00:02:39] What happens is that the fight ends up being about you and how you're treating them.
And the thing that you raised in the first place gets totally lost.
Give me a 3 if that's happened to you, it's so frustrating, right? Where you just want to talk about something. And then before you know it, your partner is criticising you for how you are communicating to them. And then by the end of the fight, you haven't even begun to talk about the original issue.
Give me a 3 if that happens to you.
[00:03:11] I want you to think about it. When last did it feel good for you, when someone demanded of you to do something or be something?
It's just kind of human nature to resist doing something when you know someone is making you do it.
Even if that person concedes, you don't trust their behaviour change because you know that you manipulated or coerced it either with with demanding that they change with threats or even lots of tears, which was kind of what I used to do.
[00:03:48] I never felt it was manipulative on my part. And even when I look back, I really don't feel it was manipulative on my part.
It's just that my default behaviour when I'm in pain is to go to tears.
[00:04:00] The thing is, is that for for our partners, that can feel like we are coercing them. We are emotionally blackmailing them and.
When that is our strategy to get something, whether it's unconscious or conscious, we don't trust it.
We don't feel secure and safe in our relationships.
[00:04:24] Now, on the other hand, if you suppress your needs to please your partner, not only do they never know what you want, you end up becoming incredibly resentful of them.
And more often than not, you will passive aggressively sabotage the relationship.
[00:04:42] The thing is empowered and confident people are not attracted to doormat behaviour.
I want to say that again, empowered and confident people are not attracted to doormat behaviour.
[00:04:55] You will end up losing your partner's respect not gaining it, by trying to please them and sacrificing yourself to make them happy.
[00:05:06] Now, there are people who do want doormat behaviour, and those people are not good people.
[00:05:12] People who want doormat behaviour are likely to become physically abusive when YOU don't when you don't behave the way they want you to behave.
Those are people you don't want to be with.
[00:05:25] Give me give me a 5 if you've ever known a relationship like that, either maybe yourself or a friend that you've had where it's so clear that they with someone who wants someone who has no mind of their own.
They just want that their partner to just do as they are told.
And then no matter how you try and raise anything, you're always going to get that abuse of conflicting behaviour.
[00:05:51] Because in that person's mind, you're challenging their very existence by bringing something up.
[00:06:01] If you're in a relationship with someone like that, who is physically abusive to you, you do not want to be with that person and your work is something else to what I'm going to be speaking about today. OK.
[00:06:13] Today's topic then is not for you.
There will be other times when we address that. You're welcome to in my Facebook group to go and post sharing your story, asking for help if you are in a physically abusive relationship.
[00:06:30] The other thing that today's topic is not for is if you're with someone who is in an active addiction.
When someone is in an active addiction, alcohol, substance abuse, sex addiction, whatever that might be, they are not able to give you the space to create the kind of communication that you're looking for.
So today is also not for you if that falls into the situation you're dealing with.
[00:07:21] I'm going to give it giving you three strategies at the end of this to help you create healthy engagement.
Now, I want you to understand the conflict in relationship is absolutely normal.
It's not a sign of a bad relationship.
Inevitably, in any healthy relationship, two people are going to have places of conflict.
There will be times when you're:
And it's not the conflict in itself that's an issue. OK.
It's the failure to manage the conflict that ends most relationships.
[00:08:22] I want you to give me a 5 if you resonate with any of these things:.
Give me a 5 if any of those things sound familiar?
Now, what you what you really want is to be able to communicate your needs without your partner getting defensive or angry. Right?
And I know that you also want to be able to communicate your partner without you losing your 'marbles.'
[00:09:18] That was I think one of the big things for me was that I wanted to be able to communicate without losing my, you know, without getting feeling crazy, because whenever I felt crazy and ended up getting too emotional in terms of not being able to control my emotions and the way I handled the conflict, it always became about me.
[00:09:43] Now I'm seeing I'm getting a lot of fives.
[Yes. You're asking what marbles? (laughs). These marbles (pointing to her head), your intelligence marbles.]
[00:09:52] I learned this in sales. Right. It was such a profound thing that I then could apply to my relationships.
Is that when your emotions go up, your intelligence goes down.
So when our emotions got up we just lose wisdom. We lose all reason.
And then the way we handle things is not coming from a place of strength.
And we do things that we later regret.
So much guilt follows fights simply because of that.
[00:10:22] If you're able to get a grip on your emotions and stay calm and handle things from a place of wisdom it changes the game when you're when you're raising an issue with your partner.
I think if you're like me, the thing you want the most is to feel listened to and cared for and taken seriously.
So often what I hear people telling me is that they they they feel like they don't matter to their partners because when they raise things, their partners turn it back on them or their partners dismiss the issue that's been raised.
[00:10:58] Now, here's the irony of it all, is that studies* have shown that getting the issue resolved doesn't matter nearly as much as feeling respected and heard.
And if you are not feeling respected and heard, I can guarantee your partner is not feeling respected and heard either.
This is just as true for any relationship where one person is feeling one way, the other person is often feeling something similar, but not necessarily for the same reasons.
Because underneath it, any disagreement is something that we fear.
The same studies showed that many disagreements are actually never resolved in successful healthy relationships. Why?
Because we are different and we see things differently.
[00:11:52] I can tell you that my husband and I, things that I in the beginning thought were a huge problem...
...I came to see that, in fact, we can coexist in living absolute harmony without coming to agreement on those things and to embrace that difference between us rather...
....than me trying to force him, or him trying to force me for each other to be a certain way.
[00:12:17] What I found is that conflict can encourage growth.
Our partners push us to grow in ways that no one else can because your partners mirror all the parts of you that are calling for you to grow.
They will show you the places of your wounds, the places of your blind spots where you need to grow.
They will show you what the work is that you need to do to evolve at the next level.
Without that conflict, we would get too comfortable and not only would the relationship stagnate but we would stagnate.
[00:12:56] Why then do we handle conflict so badly?
The reason you is because you are operating from what I call your stress edge.
Your stress edge is the place that you go to when you feel threatened.
Now, when your partner disagrees with you or wants something different to you or when your needs are not being met, what happens is you unconsciously start to see your partner as the enemy.
So you go into fight or flight.
[00:13:22] This person who you love so much becomes this person that you fear, this person who you think is ruining your life.
Subconsciously, before you begin the communication, you are anxious and tense and heavy, and you've already assumed the worst about them.
You've already imagined in your head that they hate you, that they are never going to want to help you get your needs met.
[00:13:52] Your energy when you go in is that of war.
The second thing is that you are not open to a "NO" because you believe it means that they don't love you if they say no.
That they don't care about you if they say no.
You also believe that the only way for your need to be met, the only way for your pain to go away, the only way to be happy is if your partner says yes to all the things that you're asking of them to do, to change, the issues that you're raising.
[00:14:24] You're unable to see another way for you to feel that fulfilling, loving intimacy in your life that you really crave.
Over time, you begin to trust each other less and a power struggle ensues.
So if you've ever had that happen in a relationship, what was the result?
Tell me in the chat section below what happened when your relationship just became a power struggle.
[00:14:54] Now, a power struggle is a normal part of any relationship. It's a phase that people go through.
In successful relationships it's a phase that people navigate and find balance and are able to restore harmony.
But for a lot of people, they never get out of that power struggle and they may stay together out of fear of being alone, but they do a lot of destructive things to each other and to themselves in the process.
[00:15:24] When there are kids involved and there's a power struggle, the kids are the ones that get burnt in the process.
Many people use unknowingly or unintentionally use their children as part of that power struggle to win their way with their partner.
Not because they're bad people, but because their helplessness and the pain is so much that they lose, this is where you lose your mind and you just don't see things clearly.
[00:15:58] When you're there, doesn't it just feel lose/ lose, to you? It's insane.
If it's not working, you have to do something different.
Because when you're in lose/lose, you're both trying to coerce and force things to be or your way.
And it's a vicious cycle downwards.
[00:16:14] One of you has to break it.
If you're waiting for your partner to break it, then the power struggle is going to go on for a long time.
You believe that you have no power and that's why you think that you need your partner, but actually, you have enormous power.
If you can build that personal power inside, you will be amazed at how you can influence your partner as long as they're not in the original, you know, those two things I told you at the beginning that this does not apply to - physical abuse and active of addiction.
[00:16:44] You'll be amazed at how you could influence your partner to do things differently with you. But you've got to be the one who's big enough to start and to do this.
Sometimes the answer is no. But often an answer will be: 'Let me find a way to do what I can.".
When you trust each other, to want each other to be happy, you will know that your partner is doing their best, even if they can't give you what you want.
[00:17:10] How do you create the space for healthy engagement?
Before I go on, "vicious cycle, I'm so tired and sad." (reading comments)
It's exhausting. It's really, really exhausting to be to be in that place of constantly fighting.
No matter how much you try to be heard.
It feels like the more you try and express yourself, the worse things get?
Does that sound familiar?
That the more you're trying to get your point over and you're just desperately want to be understood?
I don't know about you, but for me, I was very convinced that if he could just understand me, everything would be different.
It was only when I did things radically different.
I just dropped that pushing to communicate that the things shifted. I finally actually experience being understood.
[00:18:11] Let us talk about these 3 things.
All right. To introduce the three step strategy that I'm going to give you, I implemented what I call THE INSIDE EFFECT.
'The inside effect' is when you shift something on the inside, things will shift on the outside because it's about energy.
If you go into a difficult conversation from a place of disempowerment, the outcome of that conversation can only match that feeling of disempowerment.
[00:18:42] You're going to end up feeling even more disempowered. When there is when there is something that I'm feeling tense about, I first do the inside work to neutralise my anxiety before I raise anything with my husband or anyone for that matter.
[00:18:55] Of course, sometimes, you know, we can't help ourselves. Sometimes we might find that before we know it, we've like (phewww sound effect of exploding).
That's OK. I'm not talking about where that happens.
I'm talking about where you're planning on communicating with your partner about something.
[00:19:13] Before you do that you want to do the inside work.
I found communication skills didn't help me when I couldn't handle my emotions in that moment. All my relationship skills would go out the window. All my lovingness. All my everything would just go out the window.
[00:19:36] But what I found is when I did do the inside work the problem had a way of dissolving itself.
If there was anything left, it wouldn't be nearly as heavy and it would be so easy to discuss.
[00:19:49] I'm going to give you strategies after this to use once you do start the conversation.
But the first thing before before you begin the conversation is to do that inside work. Part of that is being willing to accept a 'NO'.
Don't raise it until you're willing to hear a 'NO'.
Not everybody's good saying 'NO' directly, right.
Sometimes the way that a 'NO' looks and sounds is a person being really defensive and being very resistant.
You want to prepare yourself to be handle THEIR reactive response so that you don't jump and get reactive and defensive with them. When someone's being defensive, what they're needing is for you to do the listening, to do the validating.
[00:20:47] See beyond that defensiveness and recognise that they too are feeling threatened. For you to be able to go into the conversation with that energy, you need to be able.
You need to be able to do, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.
[00:21:10] (reading comments) "Something about being understood makes me cry all the time.The same about being misunderstood."
The need to be understood is such a basic need because it's about someone seeing us.
When we feel someone sees us, we feel belonging, we feel loved, we feel valued.
[00:21:34] If we inside, believe something is wrong with us and we feel insecure; we have a bad or a negative way of seeing ourselves - we desperately need that validation from other people because we don't know how to give it to ourselves.
When someone understands us, we like 'Waiting to exhale'. That's exactly what 'waiting to exhale' means.
We can just let go and feel such a relief that we are taken care of.
[00:22:06] Here is the three step strategy, right.
The one I've already mentioned (is) before you have the conversation.
Ask: "What is it I really need?".
Often what we are fighting about is not the heart of the matter.
Your distress is often linked to early experiences that need to be healed.
Invest in the healing that needs to happen before engaging your partner.
[00:22:33] The second thing.
[00:22:35] I remember my husband would say to me, "Jo, you can come to me with anything, but my request to you is that you speak gently.".
This was a game changer in our relationship because I was often so wound up, I would raise my voice, when I would.. not shout, but just raise my voice when I spoke to him.
I found by beginning softly and gently with the intention of listening to him, to get to know his needs as much as to get my own needs met, it changed the way we had the conversation.
What you want to do is see it as an opportunity to get to know your partner better and become curious and interested in their responses rather than feeling threatened by their responses.
You'll be amazed at how this will bring you closer together and allow for greater intimacy.
But it's so hard to do this if you haven't done that inside work first.
[00:23:37] The third thing is after conflict, no matter how bad the conflict was, you want to recover from it from it as quickly as possible.
You want to take steps to repair things between you.... You don't wait for your partner to do it.
It's about YOU getting over it as quickly as possible and not holding any grudges and not staying tense.
Now, what that looks like is different from person to person. Right.
You know yourself. You know your partner.
For some people, it's just as simple as getting on with life as normal, as if the fight didn't happen.
For other for other people, they might need something different.
You've got to kind of do trial and experimenting to find out what your partner needs.
Because for some people, if you try too hard, then they take it the wrong way.
One of the decisions I made was that even if we were fighting when it was
time to go to bed, I would go and give him a big hug and a kiss good night the same way I do every night.
I wouldn't try and get attention from him. I wouldn't try and get it to linger.
I respected the fact that if he was unhappy and needed to be left alone, that I would give him that space.
But I would still stick to who I am which is that I end my night by saying good night with a hug and a kiss.
I stuck to that no matter what happened.
[00:25:02] You've got to decide what are those things for you that begin to repair from the fight as quickly as possible?
If you can do these 3 things, you're going to find that your conflict and your power struggle is going to greatly, greatly reduce.
Your partner will not only listen to you more, but they're going to become more interested in finding a way to get your needs met and you're going to be able to express yourself more freely. Right.
OK, guys, that is it for today.
[00:25:34] I hope those are takeaways that you can really use. And to further the conversation, do come and join my Soul Full Love if you're not there already.
Feel free to post something very specific to your situation to let the group support you.
Also, I run special classes, especially for the group based on your needs.
And I will see you again on Thursday. We're gonna have another Love Shift
Live on Thursday. And thank you. Thank you so much, guys, for joining me. Mwuah