Have you ever looked at your partner in confusion mid-argument, upon realising that you’ve had this exact same conversation before? You're definitely not alone. Many relationships at one stage or another hit a hurdle that causes the same argument to occur over and over again.
Apparently, there is actually a scientific reason for this. When arguing about the big non-negotiables in relationships, the same things get brought up again and again because incomplete memories are being relieved. According to relationship expert Ed Ferrigan, when arguments are on repeat it’s because we are activating a memory in the body that is still incomplete, has a lot of fear associated with it, or both. He goes on to explain that this can be triggered more in certain people because some of us aren’t very good at asking for what we want and therefore don’t feel that our needs are being met.
Okay, so now the psychological answer is out of the way, I’m sure most of you just want to know how to get past this.
According to The Guardian, there are a few key ways to get past relationship groundhog day. Hopefully, none of them brings up incomplete memories for you.
Focus on the good stuff: The publication says that if you want out of this negative pattern, you need to focus on the good stuff your partner does. They suggest creating a list of the lovely things your partner does, no matter how small, that you can be thankful for. Rather than focusing on what annoys you, elevate the small details of your partner’s thoughtfulness.
Be vulnerable: This is one that a lot of people struggle with, but the results can be amazing. Sharing how you feel can be truly cathartic. One example given of this; is if you were to say: “You’re always at football with your friends,” but what you mean is, “I wish you were with me.” Try asking for what you want instead and see what happens. The answer may not be one you want, but either way, you’re actually saying what you mean, and it allows for both parties to evaluate what they want.
Quit the sweeping accusations: Phrases such as: “You never…” and “You always…”, Are loaded with negativity. Listen to the difference between “I would love it if you could do the dishes this evening, I’m really tired” and “You never do the dishes!” Powerful stuff hey.
Listen and speak with kindness: This is crucial in making it past an argument hell cycle. If you’re always yelling and getting nowhere, it’s time to change it up. There’s real power in letting your words talk for you, rather than simply relying on volume. There’s also an old saying that goes: “You catch more bees with honey rather than vinegar”. Apply this to arguments. It doesn’t mean you can’t say what you need to; it’s just that you may be surprised to find your delivery can have a profound impact on the outcome of your arguments.
Like our advice? Suffer from incomplete memories? Comment below.