The Reason Couples Argue: Ruptured Connection
In this video I’m going to talk explain the real reason couples argue.
This video is absolutely critical to know how to maintain a healthy relationship.
The primary way that human beings stay safe is in our connection and relationships to others. So when we feel connected, when our partner is present with us, we feel safe.
Once we have a ruptured connection. When we feel disconnected (such as being ignored, not heard, unimportant, abandoned) we feel intense physical and emotional pain. We don’t feel safe.
The reason couples argue is because they feel disconnected from their partner, they get anxious and scared, and we are trying to regain that connection.
You have to know how to have the appropriate dialogue with your partner when this happens. If you don’t your partner will feel more and more disconnected, start to get anxious, scared, lose emotional self control, turn away, and then have an emotional meltdown.
It is a skill and one of the most challenging things is being able to do it in the present moment.
First I have an email from a girl who is beyond frustrated with her boyfriend. Then I have a few examples to see how to do it.
Hi Craig: Thank you so much for your amazing channel. Your videos have been so helpful. I’ve had my boyfriend watch some of your videos (especially the ones about communication with your partner) he doesn’t get it.
Craig: He does exactly what you say men do. He defends himself. Or if I want to connect with him and share he wants to solve the problem.
This is a huge problem for men.
If you can make this one correction to your relationship things will improve tremendously.
Girl: Here’s a recent argument we had. I came home from work and the house was a mess. He had promised me he would clean it. I was already tired from a stressful day at work. Then I asked him if he had made reservations at a hotel we wanted to stay for a weekend getaway. He said he forgot. I told him we hadn’t done anything fun together in a while. He started listing things we had done 3-4 months ago! Can you please explain to him how I was feeling? I know you’ll be able to figure it out quick.
Craig: Okay. So she’s hurt because you didn’t keep your promise to her. So she was already disappointed by your behavior. Then she was hoping you had gotten the hotel reservations so she had something to look forward to. When you hadn’t, it felt like you don’t care about her. It feels like you don’t care about her.
When a woman is saying we don’t do anything fun anymore, don’t defend yourself. It means suggest that we do something fun!
Here’s an example: I’m going to give you the wrong way and then the right way.
For example: We haven’t been dancing in a while. Honey, you know I don’t like dancing. We just went a few months ago when your friend was in town. Why don’t you go with your girlfriends.
Right way: You want to go dancing? Lets go. Do you want us to go alone or with friends?
Here’s another example:
My sister is not doing well. She has to have more tests run. The doctors don’t know what’s going on.
I’m realy worried. She’s had so many health issues for a long time.
Wrong: Well I told you she needs a new doctor. Those doctors are terrible and aren’t helping. You need to make her go to someone new.
Right: I’m sorry sweetie. You seem really worried this time. She has had so many problems you must be worried that things are getting worse. I can completely understand. When my mom was sick, I kept worrying about if she would ever get better.
Reflect, validate, empathize.
When your partner reaches out to you. Make sure they know you are there for them.
If you don’t, when they become disconnected they will get anxious.
They will lose emotional self control and the ability to regulate their anxiety. They will then do whatever they can think of to reduce that anxiety. Control you, manipulate you, yell at you, blame you. Anything to make you get back into the place where they feel connected to you again.
When your partner becomes anxious and then reaches out to you. They want to be comforted
She really is asking to feel connected to you in the present moment
In order to do that, you need safe dialogue
This C.A.P.E is an acronym. It stands for Curiosity, Acceptance, Playfulness and Empathy.