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Why do lovers fight?

Finding reciprocal love is a true blessing. Lovers delight in adoring each other and relish being fully accepted and cherished by their “other half”. Why then do people who truly love each other resort to having bitter arguments, exchange unkind words and have hurtful fights?

Fighting, by definition is associated with an adversary or enemy. Loving is associated with tender emotions toward a valued friend. What causes lovers to blur the distinctive boundaries between love and animosity?

In my view fights stem not primarily from personal differences, poor communication skills or weak problem solving techniques, but mainly from a perception of loss of esteem.

Each mate must feel valued and honored by the other to feel safe and secure. Any behavior that threatens one’s worthiness evokes hurt and anger leading to self- justification, defensiveness, and sometimes attacks for self-redemption. The threat of being unfavorably viewed by one’s lover is so profound that it must be instantly rectified. Not mattering is an instinctual crisis of survival.

The methods one uses to urgently restore his/her esteem in the eyes of the beloved arise from a primitive reactivity that bypasses the logical mind. At that instant the individual is devoid of the capacity of seeing the other as a separate, precious beloved being. The partner is perceived as an enemy who seeks to destroy the hurt one. The speed of this response is so great that people often say, ”I got so mad I could not see straight”. Indeed! This is how pairs, who truly love each other sometimes blur the boundaries between love and hate.

• Realize that your mate’s perception of you is the most important opinion of all.
• Appreciate that losing your mate’s esteem feels annihilating, thus must be immediately restored.
• Understand that when your partner reacts in a harsh or extreme way to something you said or did, he/she may perceive being devalued by you.
• Abstain from attempting to explain, justify or reason with your mate at the moment of his/her fighting gesture. Instead, realize that your beloved feels profoundly hurt by a perceived discount of his/her value and feel empathy for his/her pain.
• Do not attempt to placate, withdraw your comment, apologize or attack back. Your spouse is in an acute crisis of lost esteem and is not open to an interactive exchange.
• Respond with an affirming, positive and empathic (not patronizing) statement that can help your partner feel valued anew.
• When you are the one experiencing the temporary panic of worthlessness restrain your reaction until your cognitive functions resume.
• Make it a habit to have an ongoing culture of mutual appreciation, admiration and empathy to maintain the emotional security derived from knowing that you are both cherished and loved.

Source : RelationshipMatters.com

Categories: Relationships
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