When clients come in for Houston marriage counseling and tell me that there’s just too much conflict and they want me to stop it, my first question is sometimes, “Why?” People think I’m playing around with them, but that’s not the case. What I am trying to get people to understand is that having conflicting opinions and even arguing aren’t necessarily bad things – it’s the way that we disagree that matters.

Houston Marriage Counseling: Avoiding Early Conflict Makes It Scarier Later

Typically, the next thing couples in therapy will jump to is the idea that things didn’t used to be this way. When they first started dating, everything was happy and they never argued. Nothing pleased both of them more than to please the other person.

Welcome to a lesson in love chemistry, because that’s just how our bodies are designed to act. We get a rush of chemicals early on – “love” – that feels so great that we don’t care if there are smaller disagreements. In fact, many times we don’t even notice them.

Unfortunately, that chemical “enhancement” for our relationship goes away naturally with time, and we are left with the reality – no one in close a personal relationship is always going to agree with his or her counterpart. We argue. We fight. And because it hasn’t happened before, it’s a shock to us. Where did we go wrong? What happened?

Some of us lash out at this feeling, causing more fights. Others retreat in horror and try to pretend it’s not happening. Neither is a healthy response.

Learn How to Make Conflict Healthy in Houston Marriage Counseling

The difference between happy couples who stay together and those who end up divorcing each other has nothing to do with how much or how little they fight. “Happy” couples fight all the time, and typically about the same things – housework, money, sex, kids, in-laws. Where they differ is in how they handle their disagreements.

Healthy couples learn how to listen – even when they don’t want to – and how to see things from their partner’s point of view. They learn how to express their feelings and desires without walking all over their spouse. And they also learn something even more important – how to trust each other with their emotions and be vulnerable. When you can do this, your relationship bond will grow even stronger and deeper.

It’s not always easy, and for some people therapy can be a great option if things just aren’t getting better with just the two of you working on it. If you feel like you need the help of a professional, try Houston marriage counseling.