When we fall in love, conflict usually is not an issue. So what then causes the irritations and disagreements to start?
When we are in love the body is flooded with hormones. When released, feelings of trust and attraction are activated. We have this impression that the other person is our perfect partner. We see the flaws but they don’t matter. Our only desire is to make the other person happy. It is a chemical conditions that we have almost no control over.
But eventually the reality of the human nature kicks in. Gradually we begin to uphold what we want and we no longer agree on everything. Character traits start to irritate us. Our partner fail to meet our expectations, values differ and behaviour starts to irritate us.
This is an inevitable point in every relationship, but you have a choice. You can either start protecting yourself or pull away, or you can work through it and get closer.
As humans we need emotional attachment as much as we need food and shelter. When we sense rejection, the brain sees it as danger and we go into fight or flight mode which means we either get aggressive or shut down and this is when disconnection steps in.
What we do directly after this moment of disconnection, has a huge impact on our relationship.
The key is to reconnect immediately. If not, you’ll start engaging in a pattern of disagreeing or fighting and your relationship starts to unravel.
How to reconnect
- Touch is the most basic way of connecting with another human being. Taking your partner’s hand in the middle of an argument can instantly calm some of the anxiety and anger.
- Be kind. A little kindness could serve as a reminder that you care about each other. You don’t have to pretend like nothing happened. It’s just a nudge in the right direction, like giving your partner a pat on the back as you walk out of the room.
- Give them space even if you need closeness. Clinging can make things worse when a person needs to take time out. Don’t take it personally and later withhold yourself as punishment.
- Reflect: Take the time to focus on your own thoughts and feelings. Clarify what you really want, clarify what you don’t want, then ask you brain to start searching for healthy options to add to the pool of ideas to resolve the problem.
- Avoid accusations. Accusations will lead others to defending themselves rather than understanding you. Instead, talk about how someone’s actions made you feel.
- Remember, you are both on the same team. Define the problem and team up against the problem, don’t attack the person. (This is us against the problem not me against you)
- Deal with only one issue at a time. Don’t introduce other topics until each is fully discussed.