Marriage makes you a push of a button pro. Men and women instinctively know what small habits or phrases or deeds irritate the hell out of their partner. What spouse does not occasionally gargle aloud a mouthful of Listerine with intent to aggravate their noise-prone wife, or sneak in and haunt an easily frightened man in the shower? It’s fun and playful. But there is another way certain people intentionally provoke their spouses, which is much less enjoyable: to choose fights.
Marriage is home to battles of every shape, size and style. But some partners are wired to pick fights because they’ve had a bad day or are just in the mood to save. It’s a frustrating, exhausting habit that can quickly overwhelm people. t
So what drives someone to choose fights in a relationship? According to Courtney Glashow, LCSW owner and psychotherapist at Anchor Therapy in Hoboken, New Jersey, it usually stems from an unconscious projection of anger.
Say someone has a boss who made them angry at work. They really are not in a position to shout at their superiors, so rather they swallow it. That anger manifests in many ways, including picking up fights.
Glashow says that people who look back on the arguments they start will very often have a hard time figuring out what made them angry in the first place. This, she says, is because they do not vent their stress and anger in a healthy way.
“You really keep it inside until you feel comfortable letting it out around people you love – because you know they’ll be able to take it and love you unconditionally.”
If you tend to pick fights, it’s important to develop a sense of self-awareness and realize when you’re actually fueling things. From there, you can step it back a bit and try to determine the actual source of the anger.
“Was there something completely unrelated that made you angry before?” Do you hold back feelings or thoughts and then let them explode later? ” Glass show offers. “You want to find out with your mind what is happening in your head. If you realize that you have thoughts that you are angry that your dry cleaner has ruined your favorite suit, you may want to do something to help release that anger. ”
In many cases, the root of one’s anger lies much deeper than a bad day at work or a traffic jam. Picking fights can speak to bigger issues of resentment with roots that can sometimes stretch back years.
“Generally speaking, when someone strikes someone, it’s because they feel hurt, despised, taken for granted, or taken for granted,” says Kevin Darné, author of My cat will not bark! (A Relationship Epiphany). “Most of us have programmed ourselves to believe that shouting, cursing, demanding and fighting are signs of power.”
To combat that deep-rooted anger, Darné suggests forming better habits and finding time to look inward.
“Whether it’s mediation, exercise, going for a walk, or listening to music through your headphones, it helps to take a break,” he says. “You are able to re-frame the situation and see the big picture / potential outcome based on which option you choose to go.”
At the moment, Glashow suggests that fight leaders take a very important few seconds to breathe and gather themselves.
“Before you walk into your house at the end of the day or before you start calling your partner, do a quick mental and body scan in which you see how you feel and what you are thinking about,” she said. say. “Are you still bothered by something that happened earlier in the day that is not related to your partner?”
For those who find themselves on the receiving end of an argumentative spouse, Randi Levina transition life strategist, says not getting involved can be the best strategy.
“When you feel like you’re about to be the receiver of someone who chooses a fight, decide not to play,” she says. “Do not raise your voice, or make accusations, or delight in the drama. Rather, look for ways to defuse the situation, to have empathy for the accuser, to seek a win-win. Make a choice not to have the argument, even if you have to temporarily separate yourself from the situation. ”
For avid fighters, Levin suggests trying to find a solution before they see the problem.
“When you’re activated and are about to pick a fight, look for what would move that situation to acceptance,” she says. “Where can a change in perspective change how you react or react to something or someone?”