Sometimes it’s Worse Not to Fight
There are three main reasons couples come to see me for therapy: they’re facing something hard together and need help, they are fighting too much, or they aren’t fighting at all. It might surprise you that not fighting is a serious problem. That’s a dream relationship, right?
Unfortunately, a lot of couples stop fighting because they stopped talking. They get so beat down from the constant fighting that they stop bringing up issues or shut down as soon as things start to go sideways. They want so much for the relationship to work and it seems like the fights seem to be tearing it apart so they do whatever they can to avoid them. It feels like a no win situation.
I was thinking about this the other day and was reminded of a CD I heard in high school. It was by the group Insane Clown Posse (kids, don’t google that!) and one of my friends won it in a radio contest. We all liked ICP and were really excited to listen until we realized that they sent us an edited, radio safe version. Now, if you’ve ever heard ICP, you know they didn’t have a lot of radio safe music. In an attempt to make it more appropriate, they had blanked out all the curse words in the songs, including a song called F*** the World. There were A LOT of awkward pauses in the music. Let me give you a sample of that song with no curse words:
the west coast
everybody on the east
Kings and queens and gold jewelers
Instead of an angry statement, the song became a loud, odd list of seemingly unrelated things. That’s exactly what happens when we try to make the relationship safer by avoiding all the fights.
Sometimes, when we stop fighting we stop talking. I get it. The fights hurt so bad and you know all the damage they are doing to the relationship! The challenge is that sometimes couples are so worried about fighting, or they are so worn down from the arguments, that they avoid going anywhere near any topic that could set them off. Unfortunately, the pain, disagreements and disconnection are all still there so any remaining conversations feel just as disjointed as that ICP song.
This is where emotionally focused couples therapy comes in.
Last week I heard Ryan Rana, an EFT trainer and podcaster, say that emotionally focused couples therapy is about restoring missing conversations. That really resonated with me. We’re adding the words back in. Instead of creating a fake, edited version of the relationship, we’re building an authentic connection that is strong enough to handle disagreements.
Of course, we’re not just going to spend our time forcing all the fights you’ve been avoiding. That sounds miserable! We’re going to work together to slow down that negative cycle you get stuck in so that you can really talk and everyone feels secure in the relationship.
If you’re ready to add the words back into your relationship, let’s talk about what emotionally focused couples therapy can do for you.
I’m Le Shepard, LPC. I help couples who feel stuck and disconnected find their way back to each other and build a relationship that lasts. I offer free consultations for couples in Texas who want to heal their relationships. Click HERE to schedule your free consultation and start connecting again.