Healthy Conflict

Hi there, I am seeking some coaching on the fights that I have with my husband.

I believe we have a healthy and loving relationship – but since the beginning of our 6-year relationship, how we show up in conflict has been far from healthy. We tried couples counselling for a few months which did provide us with some useful tools. But our fights still get so dramatic and out of hand, which we both acknowledge. We are always able to talk through what happened afterwards and I do think that we learn and grow from it – but then the same thing happens, and it doesn’t serve either of us, especially as we have recently become parents. I don’t want our son to be exposed to this.

We have always said that his hot-tempered blood doesn’t gel with my emotional and sensitive nature. I love this about myself, I know it’s my superpower, but in our fights – I use these qualities against myself. I have the thoughts “He shouldn’t be treating me like this” “I won’t accept being yelled at/lashed out at” “This is so unfair”, which makes me feel angry and go into victim mode and after a while, I break – I literally just start crying and once it reaches that point, it feels I have no control over my emotions (which of course causes me to feel such disempowerment).

I want to think thoughts “This doesn’t need to affect me” “Maybe he is upset about something else” “Take some deep breathes and we can talk about it later” “You can control how you respond to this” and sometimes I can – but when I can’t, it is usually when I am feeling off and tired or stressed myself and it catches me off guard.

It seems there are so many models that could be run on the situation as I have so many thoughts about it. I am currently feeling resentment towards myself as I think I should be stronger, especially as I’ve been in Scholars for 7 weeks now. Usually during the fight, I feel so angry with him and then think that we are never going to be able to have healthy conflict. This makes me feel hopelessness and despair. Then my thoughts go to “We clearly aren’t well suited”, “We should split up”, “Our son needs us to be better than this” I then feel sad and guilty.

Another point to mention, which probably goes without saying is that my future self (who has achieved her impossible goal) certainly does NOT show up in conflict like this. When I get in this state, I feel unworthy of everything that excites me, I lose hope and want to quit all my goals because I feel I could never get there.

Also, right now, a few hours after we had the conflict, I still believe he ‘owes me an apology’ for how he initially behaved, which set off the conflict (even though intellectually I am aware that it is my thoughts around it that led to my reaction). How can I shake this off?!

Thank you for your time!