Fighting with Your Partner: The Three Ps

You love your partner. So, why do you fight so much?

This is a question that people in relationships ask constantly. 

It’s important to understand that arguing in a relationship is normal. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean you can’t work to avoid it. In fact, if you can identify the three Ps that are the basis of most arguments between partners, then you can work to reduce the behaviors that lead to fighting.

Pick

Chances are, you picked your partner because you recognized the positive qualities they had that connected the two of you intimately. At least, that’s what you thought.

But Imago therapy teaches us that we tend to be attracted to our partners (on a subconscious level) because they remind us of the unfinished business of our childhood and the treatment we received during it. In other words, we’re replicating the relationships we had growing up — both the good and bad parts — in an effort to “fix” the things that went wrong.

Unfortunately, without the tools and insight to deal with these things in a constructive way, we end up repeating negative behaviors as well as positive ones.

Project

Projection is a powerful thing. Your mind may be trained to look for and expect certain behaviors from another person. Even innocent actions can lead to big fights if one partner is projecting onto the other.

Many couples have arguments because they’re projecting onto a situation based on things that have happened to them in the past. If you can identify when you’re doing this, then you can learn not to and that will lead to fewer arguments with your partner.

Provoking

You may think that your partner not exhibiting troubling behavior is what you want, but not so fast! 

For some people, if their partner isn’t acting in a way that they expect, then they will work to provoke that behavior from them. It is crucial to understand when you may be doing this to your partner to have a healthier relationship, free from baseless arguments they’ve been cornered into having with you.

Relationships take work. Contact Tim Higdon and Norene Gronsiewski to help you work to build and strengthen yours today.