This Is Why Couples Fight
Have you heard of conflict intimacy? Let’s have a chat about it. Are you or have you been in a relationship with a partner and found yourself having fights with each other. This very well may be one of the reasons why. I define Conflict Intimacy as a bid for connection from someone you care about through conflict. What does that actually mean you might ask. Well, let’s start with some examples.
Have you ever missed your partner but instead of saying you missed them asked them a question like “ why haven’t I heard from you?” “What have you been doing all day?” This might be a symptom of conflict intimacy. I had a couple that discussed how after having a great day a fight would typically follow. What the heck is that about? To really understand what conflict intimacy is all about for couples we have to understand their upbringing. I know, I know this sounds like cliche psycho-babel but in all honesty, a lot of our conditioning comes from our early years and perpetuate that conditioning throughout our lives until we choose to reevaluate or are forced by circumstances.
If you were not allowed to fully express or experience emotions as a young person you may be more likely to practice conflict intimacy. This may come from not being able to blatantly express your needs and have them met. Example, when you cried as a teen your parent scolded you. You may have been lacking a certain level of validation and acceptance. I saw a meme the other day on IG of course by Dr. Gabor Mate that said: “ anything that is “wrong” with you began as a survival mechanism in childhood. Therefore, what worked as a child may or may not continue to work in your adulthood.
Conflict intimacy is needing reassurance and validation but going about it in a way that can or cannot be harmful to the relationship. Conflict is good. It can bring couples closer in many situations. Healthy couples have differences and disagreements but they bring them up and handle them differently than those who struggle more. Try being genuine and communicating your primary emotions with your partner (insert throw up emoji here). This means you have to practice vulnerability and that is scary. If your partner picks fights it is because they care. When they stop is when you should be concerned.