Even that couple you admire so much fights. It’s very normal for a couple to disagree and fight. What’s not okay is when you find yourselves fighting about the same things with your partner over and over. For instance, there are couples who will fight over money every now and then. That clearly shows that there is a bigger problem. Until you find out the root cause and address it, you will keep on fighting.
We sought to find out why couples keep on fighting over the same issues from a relationship therapist, one Grace Kariuki. She gives us four major reasons why it happens:
1. Not listening to each other
A good partner is one who listens. But when you don’t listen to each other in a relationship, you end up having the same fights over and over. In an attempt to get heard and feel validated, partners keep on arguing.
“If their partner doesn't validate or acknowledge their feelings, they continue to fight about the process rather than the issue,” says Grace.
2. Desire to win an argument
We all know of someone, even if it’s a friend or colleague, whose aim is always to win an argument. With such partners, it becomes quite difficult to solve issues and hence you end up fighting about the same things. If the goal is always to win the argument rather than address the issue at hand, you will never get the solution.
Unfortunately, there are things we have no control over. Like how you were raised and what you were exposed to. According to Grace Kariuki, how one is socialized could be the reason they have the same fights over and over.
“It could be that one was socialized to recycle arguments. They witnessed other adults repeating this pattern of going back to old arguments and inevitably learned that conflicts are not solvable.” She tells us.
4. Holding on to old hurts and pains
Forgive and forget is probably one of the ways to avoid repeated fights. But for some people, it’s easier said than done. You might think that you solved an issue years ago until your partner brings it up again. And again.
This expert tells us that, “It could be that one has the personality of holding on to old hurts and pains. They keep digging up old issues as a way of gaining power in a fight when they feel like they are losing ground. They may also feel that letting go of anger and resentment over issues may communicate that they are okay with being treated badly. They hold on to issues to protect themselves from being hurt again or being taken as a fool.”
What you should do if you keep fighting about the same things
Grace advises that couples who fight over the same things should learn healthy problem solving and decision-making skills. Other skills that they might need include; anger management, active listening, and emotional regulation.
“These skills can be self-taught or they can seek professional relationship counseling or coaching to develop appropriate ways to manage conflict” advises Grace.