Interaction between couples is what I refer to as the dance. The details of the fight are the music. The body language and unspoken conversation is the dance. Couples want to discuss the music and the conversation sounds like this:
He likes jazz, I can’t stand jazz, I want to listen to country music instead.
It’s always about her and country music. I never get to listen to my jazz. I have to sneak and hide to get what I want.
He hides and listens to jazz, which is why I can’t trust him.
But I wouldn’t do it if she only…
See what I mean … the details are meaningless, and attempting to resolve the fight won’t change the fact that they are stepping on each other’s toes and dancing out of rhythm. That is why I don’t care about the details of the fight, but rather, I’m interested in how they are dancing together. Once the dance; the communication and body language, becomes positive, and they start dancing together, then they will be able to figure out the details of what music to play. As a counselor, it is my job to help a couple learn to change their dance, and begin communicating with each other in a positive and respectful way. This starts with learning to listen to each other. Sometimes a couple really lacks communication skills, but at other times they feel that using their good communication skills should be limited to work situations or to friends. I’ve met successful sales people whose job requires them to listen to their customers, but when they get home to their spouse, they drop all those “work” skills. Your partner deserves more, never less, respect and positive listening than does your boss, customers, and friends. Stop and remember who is (or should be) first in your life.