Do you ever feel like you’re in a Seinfeld episode in your relationship? It seems like you’re fighting about nothing? According to relationship expert, Dr. John Gottman, that is actually the case! Most couples are fighting about nothing! Well, it appears as though it is nothing on the outside. For example, fighting over what TV show you will watch or fighting over a coffee mug being left on the coffee table. Seems like silly fights. But, what you’re really fighting over is a core issue, such as feeling unheard, feeling unappreciated, or perhaps not feeling in control.
It’s quite important to figure out the core issue that’s being triggered. As then, those silly fights don’t seem quite so silly anymore. Some examples of core issues are abandonment, loneliness, fear, rejection, feeling unheard, feeling as thought you are not a priority, etc. Do you see how when these things become activated, it can create some difficulties in the relationship? As then you are reacting to the pain you are feeling on the inside, not what the fight seems to be about on the outside.
Take some time to reflect on what is coming up for you, at your core, when you become upset with your partner. Once you can identify your core trigger, talk to your partner about this. It is often easier to have empathy regarding a core trigger compared to what appears to be an external annoyance.
If you are struggling with this, a relationship therapist can help you to figure out your core trigger and help you work towards healing this trigger, help your partner to understand what is being triggered in you and why, and help your relationship move forward upon realizing what’s really happening.