Hundreds of arguments, usually the same one
When I talk about the following, Counsellors/therapists etc normally go into psycho-babble land and quickly disappear in a puff of smoke up their own backsides. We would call it ‘couple fit’, ‘attachment theory’, ‘relationship type’ and ‘the negative cycle’. In the real world it is called real life. Simplistically, it is the idea of why we repeatedly can develop certain characteristics in forming friendships and romantic relationships (‘attachment theory’ and ‘couple fit’), what forms as those relationships generally take (‘relationship type’) and the repeating pattern of behaviours when there is conflict in that relationship (‘the negative cycle’’). Hence the title of this post, or it could be called ‘why is it always me?’.
It might be unsurprising to hear that our initial attachment styles partly develop subconsciously then consciously from our early experiences of care givers and close relationships in our immediate vicinity. When we select a partner, we do so on multiple levels e.g. a ‘public fit’, a ‘conscious fit’ and an ‘unconscious fit’. Our relationship, if we’re fortunate, is a functional amalgamation of any number of ‘relationship types’ – if we are less fortunate our relationship is predominantly characterised by one or two dynamics which tend to be inflexible when put under stress. When we experience conflict in that relationship, essentially it is the way that we communicate with each other, the assumptions we make about each other’s behaviour and how we respond that determines what effect or damage this might have on our relationship (‘the negative cycle’’).
As I have said previously the majority of couples, friendships and family relationship are functional, they may not be the happiest, most spontaneous or ideal, but to a greater or lesser extent they function relatively well without any need for outside input be it friends, family or an independent third party (me!)
Unfortunately, it is when the couple dynamic becomes dysfunctional and the negative its cycle of communication takes hold that it can become very difficult for any relationship to go anywhere and the couple get stuck on the merry-go-round of joy, or as I might say ‘hundreds of arguments but always the same one’.
It is always better to talk to someone sooner rather than later and establish a healthy relationship dynamic before the couple gets bogged down or entrenched in their positions. However, even if you didn’t see it coming and you feel firmly in a negative cycle, just arrange a free assessment and do not despair!