-- Question for John --
I’ve been with the same girl for 4 and a half years. We have lived together for the past 2 years. The past few months we have been fighting more and struggling to get along together, we always seem to find small things about each other that irritate us. What do you suggest we do to stop the constant fighting?
We have alot of different interests, I enjoy playing golf, hiking, and doing things outdoors. She enjoys staying indoors and relaxing watching TV or something. I’m not sure what to do because we both are at each others throats all the time and neither of us seem happy, but we’ve had a long enjoyable relationship in the past.
-- Answer from John --
I have so many suggestions for working with the kind of trouble you are having that I wrote a book about it! There are new things you can learn to do. It doesn’t have to be the way it is.
You are experiencing the number one reason couples break up or fall into long-term dissatisfaction. The only solution is to learn new skills so that you can move through conflict and problems without it tearing you apart.
Research is showing the importance for all of us to learn new skills to better handle problems and upsets in relationship… so that we can truly resolve each issue rather than recycling it and building up negative feelings or resentments over time.
Here’s a statistic for you to consider. Couples that stay together have just as many issues to resolve as couples who split up. What is the difference? Couples who stay together and are happy have learned more skills in how to resolve their issues.
Another important statistic is this. A large percentage of couples who split up, after the momentary relief of separation, end up regretting long-term that they may not have done everything they could have to save the relationship. Most of those with regrets recognize that they should have learned better skills for handling problems and conflict.