For some couples fighting is the fire that keeps their
relationships alive. It lets them know the other cares. Many are determined to
win a battle that never ends. Others try to right the wrongs they have
experienced in the past with someone new. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior
is doomed to failure. When we bring baggage from a former relationship into the
present, all new relationships simply become a continuation of the past.
What People Get Out of Fighting
It is important to understand why couples keep fighting. For some fighting is a fire that keeps their relationships alive. It lets them know the other cares, things aren’t really over, and sparks still fly between them. Fighting can keep these couples bonded, causing them to think about each other a great deal.
Some love power struggles. They love winning and feeling power
over the other. This makes them feel strong. Fighting can easily become a
habit, something individuals fall into automatically and instinctively.
Needless to say, fighting prevents real communication from developing. It is a
way of threatening or blaming the other. Rather than really addressing issues,
it causes a situation to remain stuck.
Without a good fight, a relationship is over,” says Mary, a twenty six year old administrative assistant. “The lights have gone off between us. It’s a sign my partner no longer cares.”
Mary, who was recently divorced and is now in another choppy relationship feels that eventually she’ll marry a man with whom she can fight – and survive the storms. ” I respect a guy who I can fight with, who can take me as I am.”
For Mary being angry, fighting and winning has become her identity. Without it, she no longer knows who she truly is. She does not see price she is paying for this kind of relationship or what toll it takes on all concerned.
Unfortunately, the anger many individuals live with on a daily basis can become crystallized into their identity. Once this identity becomes habitual, the individuals soon have no idea who they would be without it. Needless to say, this blocks out much of the happiness, flexibility, communication and intimacy they desire.
“I’m not letting her walk all over me,” Roger would balk whenever his ex-wife expressed her needs to him now, or brought up any issue. Rather than listening to what she had to say, he immediately took it as criticism. “She’s trying to tell me I’m inadequate,” he would declare. The war was on. What started as a conversation, turned into a power struggle? From Roger’s point of view, his very manhood was at stake.
However, as long as any of us hold onto our anger and continue fighting, there is no hope of working the problems through, or even truly understanding what is really going on. Roger could not pause and realize that his partner’s needs and feelings had nothing to do with him. He was determined to take whatever she said or did personally and keep feeling badly about himself. These are many consequences when we cling to anger and allow it to turn into our sense of who we are.
Beyond that, it’s impossible not to receive the fruits of what you have put forth. “As you sow, so shall you reap,” is an immutable law of living. Although we may justify all kinds of behavior it is absolutely inevitable that we will experience the consequences of our thoughts, actions and deeds. Depression arises, hopelessness and the inability to love again.
There are many steps involved in letting go of anger. The very first step is to realize that anger is a toxin. It is not a source of strength or power, but can become an addiction, a substitute for true power and wisdom, something that hinders our well-being and stops our life from going forward.
There are definite steps we can take to undo anger. And in order to begin a new chapter and to build a positive relationship both with ourselves and others, it is necessary to begin this process.
Here are a few steps one can take to begin. They are taken from The Anger Diet which offers one step a day for thirty days. These following guidelines are simple, but powerful. Why not try them today and see.
Putting an End to the War
1) Stop Blaming – It is absolutely pointless for you to blame
yourself or the other. Blame stops you from seeing the truth. While we are
engaged in pointing a finger, and making the other feel guilty, we cannot see
what is really going on. Blame is a way to keep the fight alive. TAKE A
VACATION FROM BLAME FOR ONE DAY. Instead of thinking of all the ways the person
has hurt you keep your eyes open to watch how you may be stoking the fires.
Focus upon what the person has done for you, instead, the ways in which they
have been kind.
2) Realize the Price You Are Paying for These Fights unless we
truly realize the terribly toll fighting is taking on us, we will continue it
automatically. Honestly take note of the consequences each fight brings, what
it is doing to your body, mind and spirit. Then ask do I truly want this?
Haven’t I suffered enough? Why not stop it today?
3) Know There Is A Better Way – You have to become aware that
there is a better way to be in a relationship. This is the time to expand your
view. Define success as being happy rather than being right. Learn other tools
and techniques which will de-escalate anger and make a positive relationship
possible for you.
4) Build a Strong Sense of Self-Worth
The basis of all good relationships is a feeling of worthiness, a desire to honor, gift and pleasure yourself, and to do the same for the other. Choose this kind of relationship and let go of all that opposes it.
As we have the courage to let go of anger, not only does our health improve, but soon we notice many kinds of wonderful, new people and experiences entering our lives. We attract what we focus upon. When we focus upon well-being, forgiveness and love that is what will fill our lives.
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