Does your marriage feel like more of a burden than a blessing? Do you find yourself fighting with endlessly? Do you want to know how to end the fighting once and for all and know how to be happy again? You’re not alone. But get ready, Dr. Fillmore’s got a lot to say on fighting and in her usual style, it’s straightforward, practical and will get you thinking.
So you want to know how to stop fighting? Well, that's simple - Don't Fight. “What?!” you say. That’s right! You can, (and will!), discuss, disagree, cajole, argue, persuade, differ, convince, entice, inveigle and (occasionally), bicker, but fighting is right out!
The point of fighting is for someone to “win” and for someone to “lose” and that this only damages the relationship. We can discuss, argue, even vehemently make our point, but fighting is destructive and a complete waste of time.
Having said this, it is often difficult for people to let go of fighting because anger often feels good! It's a rush and feels invigorating. We feel in control. We feel righteous and safe, (safe from acknowledging our true feelings, that is). And we know that anger is always a result of feeling fear or pain, which are often far more complicated and uncomfortable to deal with. So if we're coming at each other with anger, it’s most often because we're actually not dealing with our real emotions.
What I hear from people most often is “I can't help it! He makes me so mad!” What she clearly believes here is that she has no control over her emotions, that she simply “loses her temper.” This is, in fact, rarely the case. I often ask if she has the same problem of “losing her temper” with her boss. “No,” she replies, “I'd get fired.” She usually starts to figure out where I'm going by this point. If one can control their emotions at the office, one can control their emotions with the most important relationship in their life. Our anger, like our mood, is our choice. It's not something that “happens” to us, it's something we create and fuel. Take responsibility for your anger and choose to never fight again.
If, in fact, you find that you truly can't control your temper, then there may be something else going on, like depression, substance abuse, or even a serious anger problem. If you think any of these might apply to you, I strongly encourage you to seek professional help today.
To learn more about how to stop fighting and get your marriage on an even, loving playing field, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.
Does this apply to you? Was this helpful? Got a question? Please comment below.
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com