What’s Really Going On When My Spouse and I Fight?

Hey, Craig here.

In these Whiteboard Sessions, I leave the talking to Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of California, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure online recovery program.

Today we’re talking about an age-old question: why do I fight with my spouse? Or better yet, how can we break the cycle of fighting we can’t seem to get out of?

We’re designed for community. We’re all designed for human connection. 

Our first human connection is to our parents and that bond kind of determines how we connect with others as we get older. Spouses often hold the keys to that initial connection with our parents and the conflicts we had with them.

We tend to choose partners who resemble those attachments either because our spouse is like our parent or the complete opposite. And then in our marriage we try to work out unconscious issues we have with our parents with our spouse. 

Women tend to seek connection in their relationships and men seek validation. We want to know, “Do I matter? Am I important enough? Am I valued?”

If you don’t get those early attachment needs from your parents, you end up seeking it out later in life over and over again.

So how do you avoid the spiral of not feeling connected, not feeling validated, and then fighting with each other?

Steven says the number one thing you can do is to center yourself in the midst of not feeling connected or not feeling validated and say to yourself, “I’m okay with myself, I’m okay with who I am and I can accept that I’m not perfect.” Because if you don’t need that validation from your spouse then you stop the cycle before it starts.

And for porn, there’s no withdrawal more poignant than porn. You can’t deal with rejection from your spouse and so you retreat to porn. It’s so much easier to pursue porn than to pursue your spouse.

But in those moments, you shouldn’t even pursue your spouse. Pursue yourself. 

“I’m worthy. Whether or not someone says I exist, I matter.” 

 

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS VIDEO

  • We’re all designed for community. We’re all designed for human connection.
  • In our marriage we try to work out unconscious issues we have with our parents with our spouse. 
  • Women tend to seek connection in their relationships and men seek validation.
  • He didn’t bring flowers, he didn’t empty the dishwasher. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t love you. And just because she is upset that you didn’t fill the car with gas, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love you.
  • If you don’t get those early attachment needs from your parents, you end up seeking it out later in life over and over again.
  • There’s no withdrawal more poignant than porn.

 

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About the author: Steban Lopez

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