How to deal with a push pull relationship
7 Ways to Overcome a Push-Pull Dynamic in Your Relationship
Intimate relationships can go south when partners get stuck in a pursue-withdraw cycle.In this push-pull dance, one partner seeks greater connection but grows increasingly critical when connection is elusive. The other partner seeks greater autonomy and increasingly withdraws in the face of complaints and pressure.
Underneath this frustrating cycle lies the differing attachment styles of partners. Its estimated that half of all adults have an insecure attachment style that can lead to either a pursuing or distancing stance in relationships.
Pursuing partners fear rejection or abandonment, and seek reassurance from their partners through closeness and connection.
Withdrawing partners fear being controlled or crowded, and seek relief through independence and autonomy.
Here is an online quiz to help you identify if you have a pursuer-withdrawer relationship.
On some level, pursuers know that chasing a withdrawer is counterproductive. But pursuers fear that if they dont try to increase connection it will never happen. This leaves pursuers feeling trapped in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-dont dynamic which can lead them to criticize their partners.
Withdrawers know on some level that the pursuer wants closeness but it can feel overwhelming or frightening to provide it. Withdrawers fear that giving in to demands for more connection will lead to losing themselves in the relationship. The withdrawer, too, feels caught in a damned-either-way dynamic: Give in and feel trapped, or resist and receive mounting criticism.
The result can be frequent conflict, a cold-war atmosphere, chaos or drama. In time, this weakens the bonds of a relationship so much that the relationship may end.
Here are seven effective ways to deal with a pursuing-withdrawing dynamic in your relationship:
1) Recognize That the Problem is the Cycle, Not Your Partner
Withdrawers tend to deny, ignore or distance from relationship problems. Pursuers tend to magnify the focus on problems. Together, they create a push-pull dance that alienates both.
To improve your relationship it helps to recognize that this cycle, not your partner, is the enemy of your relationship.
Focus on changing the dance, not on changing your partner. It helps to view problems as happening to the relationship, not to your personally. This promotes a we mindset rather than a you vs. me mindset.
2) Reckon With the Costs of the Dance
A pursuer-withdrawer cycle is costly. It leads to stress, strain, alienation, conflict, frustration and a lack of intimacy.
Few withdrawers come closer when they feel pressured or chased. By the same token, few pursuers say positive things to a partner who they feel is depriving or rejecting them. Both stances create a self-reinforcing cycle.
While it takes time and work, you can break this costly cycle. Withdrawers need to soothe their fears of engulfment, communicate and participate more with their partner, and be more transparent. Pursuers need to soothe their fears of abandonment, reality test their worst-case scenarios, and be more self-reliant.
Both individuals need to stop seeing their partners as either the problem or potential solution.
3) Honor Each Others Differences and Needs
Pursuers and withdrawers in the same situation can have vastly different experiences of time. For a pursuer who is desperate to discuss relationship issues, an hour talking about a relationship may provide just a taste. But to a withdrawer, an hour may feel endless and overwhelming.
By the same token, for a withdrawer, a day without contact may feel like a breath of fresh air, while to the pursuer it may feel like torture.
It helps if withdrawers reassure pursuers that there will be time to talk and spend time together. That can allow a pursuer to self-soothe.
It helps if pursuers reassure withdrawers that they can have their space, that they wont be criticized for it, and will be welcomed when they return. This can allow a withdrawer to feel free to move closer without fearing they will lose themselves.
4) Anxiety Is the Problem, So Managing Anxiety Is the Solution
Both pursuers and withdrawers are anxious. Pursuers fear being alone and tend to believe that if only their partner would stop distancing, their anxiety would go away. Withdrawers fear being overwhelmed and tend to believe that if only their partner would stop pressuring them, their anxiety would disappear.
Deep down, both want connection, love, and to be seen and accepted for who they are.
Anxiety can bring out the worst in us, triggering primal fears and primitive coping behaviors. In believing that the solution to the problem lies with the other persons actions, both partners give up their power.
In truth, pursuers need to calm their anxiety by coming to know they are sufficient and okay on their own. Withdrawers need to calm their anxiety by learning that they can get close without being destroyed. These realizations give both partners the power to manage their anxiety.
5) Share Power
One helpful exercise is to agree to take turns calling the shots. For example, a couple can designate an hour, an afternoon, or a day in which one person gets to decide what they do and whether they do it together. The next hour, afternoon or day, switch roles. This way each partner can experience knowing their time will come to have their needs met.
6) Question Your Assumptions
Over time we create a narrative about our partners and relationships and tend to gather evidence to support our viewpoint.
If we see our partner as uncaring, we may grow self-protective, critical or dismissive. But what we view as uncaring behavior may simply be our partners style.
For example, if a withdrawer wears a new shirt and the partner asks, When did you buy that? the withdrawer, who may be used to feeling criticized or interrogated, may assume judgment rather than curiosity.
Instead, a pursuer could say, I like that shirt, is that new? The withdrawer then knows there is positive intent in the question and can relax.
By the same token, when a pursuer hears their partner say, I am going for a run, they may feel rejected or unwanted. But if a withdrawing partner says, I love you. I am going for a run now. I look forward to our evening plans, the pursuer can feel reassured.
7) Dont Forget the Magic of Relationships
An intimate relationship is an opportunity to share your needs, fears and longings. Sharing your vulnerabilities is one of the key reasons we seek a primary partner. Dont let the pursuer-withdrawer dance get in the way of this.
If you were raised in a dysfunctional family with insecure attachment styles, you may have inherited a win-lose, top-bottom, zero-sum-game worldview of people and relationships.
This may feel so familiar that you know no other model. However, the template for living that you inherited is not one that you must endlessly carry out.
Magic can happen when pursuers can tell their partners: “I feel vulnerable, lonely, and afraid but I know you are not the source of those feelings.”
Magic can also happen when withdrawers can say: “I feel irritable, trapped, and smothered but I know you are not the source of those feelings.”
Your relationship can achieve a much deeper level if you own and express your feelings without making your partner responsible for causing or fixing them.
Copyright Dan Neuharth PhD MFT
Push Pull Relationship – 9 Ways To Overcome It
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When one partner is driven by a need for connection and the other a need for distance, a push pull relationship takes hold. While this explanation may sound simple and straightforward, being caught in such a relationship rarely is.
That’s because this push pull behavior between two romantic partners is often driven by a host of underlying issues. Ranging from problematic attachment styles to fear of intimacy on one side, and fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, etc. on the other. So, you can see how this hot and cold, close and distant dance can take a toll on the minds of those caught in this toxic relationship dynamic.
To make matters worse, the push pull relationship cycle plays out on a loop. This leaves both partners with no respite from the constant pressure, uncertainty, and conflict. If you feel as if there is an unhealthy amount of pursuing and chasing involved in your dynamics with your partner, pay attention to what a push pull relationship is all about and how you can overcome it.
What Is A Push Pull Relationship?
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A push pull relationship begins like any other. Two people meet, they feel attracted to each other, and a relationship ensues. In fact, the honeymoon period of such relationships is typically marked by an intense passion. However, as the relationship begins to settle into a rhythm, a yearning for distance on part of one partner triggers fear of loss and panic in the other. The push pull relationship cycle begins.
In such a relationship, one partner displays classic traits of a commitment-phobe and actively avoids intimacy, which the other partner craves. The partner who is trying to avoid intimacy may become withdrawn and cool off the enthusiasm and passion they displayed early on in the relationship. They may start devoting more time to individual interests and hobbies or make excuses to not spend time with their SO. This causes the other partner to feel upset, confused, and insecure about being abandoned.
Related Reading: Are You A Toxic Couple? Take This Test To Find Out
The panic created by these feelings, then, drives them to go above and beyond to pull their drifting partner closer. They may try to entice them by paying more attention to their looks, complying with their every ask, or nagging them for their indifference. The response of the puller builds up pressure on the pusher, prompting them to become even more withdrawn.
The push pull behavior isn’t essentially a one-way street. Both partners may switch between the roles of a pusher and puller in the relationship, making the dynamics far more complicated.
What Are The Signs You Are In A Push Pull Relationship?
As is the case with human relationships, push pull dynamics are riddled with myriad facets and complexities. The specifics of such a romantic partnership notwithstanding, it can be said with certainty that it’s a toxic relationship to be in. You can imagine that this kind of toxicity flourishes in a push pull relationship with a narcissist. A narcissist will use your love as their attention-seeking fuel, and when they have had enough, they will dump you and leave. But not completely. They’ll make sure they leave a little string of affection with you to draw you back in with it, whenever they’re in the mood for more love and adoration.
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The puller gives a narcissist every kind of praise they need – sexual, emotional and intellectual – in order to keep the relationship afloat. The pusher, in this case, thrives on every little bit of it without ever valuing the person who’s doing all the work. If one of these push and pull relationship examples resonate with you, and you realize that you’re in a push pull relationship with a narcissist, please step away from your partner for a while.
Think about how much you deserve, how little you’re receiving, and how you’re being treated constantly. Don’t think about how to fix a push and pull relationship in this scenario. What you need is a clean break from this person. Don’t expect amends and an apology from them (remember, they are a narcissist). This is one of the worst push and pull relationship examples, and we hope you heal from these scars soon.
Of course, this dynamic can occur when neither partner is a narcissist too. To be able to free yourself from the throes of such a panic-ridden relationship, you need to understand the push and pull couple meaning. If you’re looking for tell-tale signs of a push pull relationship, know that it is marked by 7 distinct stages:Infographic on the signs of a push pull relationship loop
Stage 1: The Pursuit
In this stage, a person – typically someone who grapples with low self-esteem and fear of commitment – finds themselves attracted to someone. They decide to pursue the other person. They may put on a show to hide their latent insecurities and try to portray themselves as charming, generous, kind, and sensitive.
The person being pursued may play hard to get – a behavior that stems from their fear of loneliness and abandonment. While this person fears being vulnerable, the attention they’re receiving makes them feel good about themselves and works well for their low self-esteem. After a spell of playing hot and cold, they yield.
Stage 2: Bliss
The relationship starts on a high note, marked by an intense passion and pull between both partners. Both partners enjoy the excitement and want to spend every waking moment together. Physical intimacy is hot and fiery too. However, there is one aspect lacking in this otherwise seemingly perfect relationship – emotional intimacy.
That’s because both partners steer clear of cultivating healthy communication in the relationship. This is one of the tell-tale signs that a push pull relationship dynamic is taking hold. “I couldn’t get enough of him, he’s all I thought about. It was perfect in every little way and I thought it’s ‘supposed’ to be this mindlessly intense, you know? That the intensity is what makes it right somehow. I was wrong. It all came falling apart sooner than I thought,” shares Fern.
Related Reading: Here’s How To Stop Constant Arguing In A Relationship
Stage 3: Withdrawal
At this stage, one partner starts to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of the relationship. Particularly, if they feel that the intimacy between them is starting to run deep. This person would want to break free or at the very least, do everything in their power to dial back on the intensity. As a result, they may become withdrawn, distant, as well as physically and emotionally unavailable.
Stage 4: Repulsion
Another clear sign of a push pull relationship is that once the withdrawal begins, the other partner takes on the role of the pursuer, driven by a latent fear of abandonment. They will go the extra mile to get their partner’s attention and affection. However, this has the opposite effect on the partner who is engaging in withdrawal. This person – the pusher – then enters stage 4 of the push pull relationship, where they feel repulsed by their partner.
Stage 5: Distance
The puller or the pursuer decides to take a step back at this stage. That’s why spells of physical and emotional distance are an unmistakable sign of push pull relationships. The decision to distance oneself from their partner in a push pull relationship stems from the fear of abandonment.
This person already fears being left behind or alone, so they take a step back to protect themselves and survive heartbreak if the relationship comes to an end. However, the same fear of abandonment doesn’t let them be the one to call it quits. “I’m not proud of it. I ran from the relationship, I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. It felt like we were breathing down each other’s necks all the time. There was no space left for me – the very thing I loved the most began to scare me,” shares Colin.
Stage 6: Reunion
Now, that the pusher in the relationship has got the space they needed, they start viewing their relationship positively again. They start craving their partner’s presence and start pursuing them all over again. From profuse apologies to showering them with gifts, they’d stop at nothing to win them over. The erstwhile puller lets the pusher back in, albeit reluctantly, because they desire feeling wanted and loved.
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Stage 7: Harmony
The relationship goes through yet another blissful spell of peace, happiness, and harmony. The pusher is content that the relationship didn’t become too intimate or serious. The puller is pleased by the fact the relationship didn’t end. As soon as things start becoming intense again, the pusher will go into withdrawal. This sets the push pull relationship cycle in motion again.
If you look closely, stages 6 and 7 are identical to stages 1 and 2, except for the fact that here a person isn’t pursuing a potential love interest for the first time, but trying to win the affection of someone they’re already in a relationship with. Since these stages operate in an incessant loop, like a hamster running on a wheel, people become addicted to push pull relationships before they can even identify their toxicity.
How To Overcome The Push Pull Relationship Dynamic?
Stress, anxiety, clingy behavior, and low self-esteem are just some of the fallouts of a push pull relationship. Surely, these things aren’t good for you. So what can be done to remedy the situation? How to fix a push and pull relationship? Is a push pull relationship breakup the only way to protect yourself from the potential damage of such dynamics?
More importantly, can you really be sure that a breakup is for good when you keep doing the on-again-off-again dance? If not, how do you save yourself from getting addicted to push pull relationships? And do so without ending things with your partner? Push pull relationship psychology is such that it makes it hard for you to recognize the signs of being in such a relationship until things have worsened to a considerable degree.
Until your friends are tired of hearing you cry over the same person again and again. Until you exhaust yourself with apologies or waiting for the other person to come back. Until you tire yourself out by constantly being overwhelmed by the intensity of the relationship, a quality that you both love and hate. But it is possible to break free from this exhausting cycle without necessarily losing a partner you love. Here are 9 actionable tips that can help you overcome the push pull relationship dynamic without having to say goodbye to each other:
Related Reading: 15 Signs You Had Toxic Parents And You Never Knew It
1. Recognize the real problem
When both partners in a relationship have divergent needs and outlooks, it’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing your SO as the root cause of all that ails your relationship. For instance, pushers tend to avoid addressing relationship issues, which can make the puller feel like they don’t care. Similarly, pullers tend to overthink, which can make the pusher feel that they’re too overbearing.
It helps to recognize that neither partner is the problem here. The push pull behavior is. By focusing on the real problem of pull relationship psychology, you become better poised to understand that you need to change your relationship dynamics and not your partner per se. This helps promote a ‘we’ versus a common problem mindset instead of ‘you’ versus ‘I’.
2. Inculcate empathy
If you want to free yourself of this toxicity without going through a push pull relationship breakup, empathy is your best friend. Once you’ve recognized that you’re either a pusher or puller in the relationship, take baby steps toward understanding your partner.
What are the underlying issues triggering their behavior patterns? What are their fear and vulnerabilities? Which past experiences have contributed to them developing these tendencies? Given that you’re dealing with your share of issues, empathizing with your partner shouldn’t be hard. Once you do, you must help each other overcome these insecurities, fears, and insecure attachment styles.
3. Acknowledge the cost of push pull dynamics
You may be addicted to push pull relationships but you know that this hot and cold dance is costing you dearly. In terms of your mental health, that is. Stress, relationship anxiety, alienation, confusion, frustration, fear, and anger become constants in your life when you’re caught in such unhealthy relationship dynamics.
Acknowledging these costs can help you see clearly that you need to make a change for the better. Unless you’re in a push pull relationship with a narcissist, there is always hope to correct the course. With some effort and perseverance from both partners, you can make progress.
“A friend pointed out that we need to get our act together. All our friends had had enough, but this one stepped up and told us that we’re a typical push pull relationship example. We couldn’t have acknowledged it without her honesty, we would have probably stayed in denial and continued to trigger each other for a long time,” shares Harry.
4. Respect your differences
The opposing attachment styles and relationship needs are at the core of a push pull relationship. For instance, a puller may want to discuss the relationship at length from time to time to reassure themselves that all is well and that their partner isn’t going to abandon them. These repeated conversations can leave the pusher feeling overwhelmed, often causing them to go into withdrawal.
To put an end to the push pull relationship cycle, learn to respect your differences. Make peace with the fact that you both are just wired differently and try to accommodate each other’s way of handling relationships as much as possible. “We thought we knew each other so well, we were wrong. It was only when we started talking about each other’s triggers and journey of attachment styles, that we got to dig deeper and deeper, and empathized more and more every day,” shares Vanya.
Related Reading: How To Overcome Codependency In Relationships
5.Distance isn’t a bad thing
For a pusher, some time off can be like a whiff of fresh air that can invigorate them. It also helps reassure them that they are not pursuing a relationship at the cost of their individuality. For a puller, distance can be nerve-racking. It can instantly make them nervous and anxious about the future of the relationship. However, distance and some personal space in a relationship aren’t bad things.
By slowly accepting that, the puller can end this toxic push pull relationship dynamic single-handedly to a large extent. If the partner who tends to withdraw knows that they can take some time off – be it a day or a weekend – to just be without being criticized or judged for it, they won’t go through the withdrawal-repulsion cycle whenever they need time to self-soothe. In turn, they will return to the relationship with a positive outlook, giving the puller the attention and affection they thrive on.Personal space in relationship is not essentially a bad thing
6.Work on yourself
Both partners in a push pull relationship have more than their fair share of issues. Working on these to become better versions of themselves can make a world of a difference in successfully ending the push pull dance. If both partners struggle with low self-esteem, for instance, work on gaining some self-confidence.
Changing the perception of the self can help in reducing fear and insecurities. By looking within and fixing the triggers behind this problematic push pull behavior, you can salvage your relationship. In case you’re not able to make headway on your own, you can always avail of the benefits of counseling. The guidance of a trained therapist can be a game-changer in overcoming your issues.
Related Reading: How To Build An Interdependent Relationship?
7. Learn to be vulnerable
If the puller in the relationship needs to learn viewing distance positively, the pusher needs to learn how to be vulnerable with their partner. A fear of intimacy stems from an underlying fear of being emotionally vulnerable with another person.
Possibly, you’ve had some distasteful experiences on this front in the past. That may well be the reason why you tend to close up and build walls to protect your most fragile thoughts and desires. Even so, you can turn over a new leaf by starting small and gradually opening up to your partners about your fears, apprehensions, past experiences, thoughts, and emotional state.
To make sure that the pusher succeeds in their attempts to let their guard down, their partner must welcome this openness with support, empathy, and understanding. If the person feels judged, they will withdraw instantly. This will only cause the fear of intimacy to be compounded manifold.
8. Create an equal power dynamic
A lopsided power dynamic is the hallmark of a push pull relationship. The power always rests with the partner who is withdrawing, playing hard to get, or distancing themselves from the other. The chaser – be it the one who pushes or pulls – is always powerless and vulnerable. So, creating a healthy power dynamic can be a good start for countering the push pull relationship cycle.
For this, both partners must make a conscious effort to ensure that they get an equal say in their relationship. From small things like deciding how to spend a day together, to big decisions like how much space and distance to accord each other, or figuring out what qualifies as quality time – every choice should be a shared one.
9. Shun your assumptions
The way we behave in relationships is largely governed by our life experiences and conditioning. This, in turn, tells us how romantic partners ought to behave with each other. For instance, if you saw your parent(s) walk out on children without any warning, discussion, or intimation, it is natural that distance in relationships can make you feel anxious.
When your partner seeks space in a relationship, you may label them as uncaring, cold, or emotionally stunted. But what if what you view as ‘uncaring and cold’ is just who your partner is? What if, according to them, that’s exactly how relationships ought to be? Shunning your narrative and assumptions is essential for accommodating the other person’s point of view, especially if it is markedly opposed to your own.
Being in a push pull relationship can take a toll on your mental well-being and worsen the very issues that trigger these tendencies. Recognizing the red flags and taking corrective measures is the only way two people prone to push pull behavior can stay together without losing their sanity. If you see yourself as being in such a relationship but are unable to make progress in the right direction, know that expert help is only a click away.
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Relationships: Taking care of yourself: Lenta.ru
Psychology Today: perfectionism and passive aggression can cause the collapse of relationships
Photo: Benyamin Bohlouli / Unsplash
Licensed mental health consultant Anthony Smith named character traits that destroy couples. In an article published in Psychology Today, the expert drew attention to the fact that people change over time, but there are still a number of qualities that can cause the collapse of even the strongest relationship.
According to the expert, people most often complain about their partner's narcissism. Smith himself added that too much dependence on the opinion of the chosen one can also be destructive. Usually, people who consider it important to indulge in everything they love grow up in families where independent thinking was condemned and perhaps even punished, the psychologist added. “Ironically, their actions tend to lead to what they fear the most,” Smith said. "Because most people can't handle a relationship where they have to guide an adult partner like a small child, and a breakup occurs. "
Passive-aggressive behavior can also destroy relationships, the psychologist is sure. The expert noted that all people have ever resorted to it: they were deliberately late for a meeting, knowing that it would offend another person, defiantly remained silent in response to a question asked, and simply discussed someone behind their backs. Passive-aggressive people bring unhealthy unpredictability into relationships: the partner does not know what to expect from them, Smith emphasized. This, he says, leads to constant arguments, with the quiet aggressor neither asking for forgiveness nor repenting.
Perfectionism can become a pathology even for a long romance or marriage, the psychologist is sure. People who are obsessed with doing something perfectly tend to stick to rules, details, schedules, and routines, which can irritate a partner who is used to a looser schedule. According to the expert, everyone can remember a relative or friend who seeks to control both himself and others every minute. Such behavior, he noted, also causes irritation.
People who see the negative in everything are doomed to destroy their union, the psychologist pointed out. At first it seems that such a person has a subtle and special sense of humor, but over time it becomes clear that he is sarcastic for any reason, seeing only the negative sides in everything. “If you give him a million dollars, he will caustically answer: “A million bucks! Great! Are you trying to destroy me? Do you know how much taxes I have to pay on this amount?” Smith gave an example.
Push-pull dynamics and playing the victim is a trademark of people with borderline personality disorder, the psychologist noted. Being hypersensitive to rejection, this person may take, for example, your desire to reschedule a date as a sign that they are not interested in him, and get angry. “He is afraid of being abandoned, so he attacks first, declaring: “It wasn’t you who pushed me away! It was I who got rid of you!” But, having realized their mistake, they are again trying to attract attention to themselves, ”summed up Smith.
Previously, the story of a woman who overheard a friend's confession and ended her relationship with him became known. According to her, a friend with whom she talked for 15 years, made a reservation that he was waiting for the death of her husband in the hope of marrying her.
What to do if you and your loved one have different views on life
It will be difficult. But separation is not necessary.
What differences can lead to conflicts
You get to know each other, fall in love, but soon find out that you see the world in a completely different way with your partner. Or you have been living together for a long time, but a person suddenly changes his point of view on an important issue for you, and the relationship turns into a battlefield. The reasons for discord in general can be anything, but we will note the most frequent and serious.
According to opinion polls, 16% of Russian couples quarrel because they cannot decide who manages the finances in the family. Money becomes the basis for conflict even more often than infidelity or problems with sex, and Russians consider poverty to be the main reason for divorce.
In an ideal world, couples would discuss such issues at the dawn of a relationship and either seek a compromise or break up in order to find a person with similar views. But in reality, they rarely talk about money, being afraid to spoil the romance or seem mercantile. As a result, many problems, such as loans, the desire to single-handedly manage money in the family, various financial goals, are revealed when people have already begun to live together or get married.
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- 7 financial mistakes that can destroy your relationship
Almost a quarter of Russians swear because of the distribution of household chores. Household work still falls mainly on women, although 9 out of 10 housewives surveyed would like their husbands to help them more. An equal division of labor could increase satisfaction and happiness in couples.
Different views on food, cleanliness and order, the general level of comfort in the house can also be a cause for disagreement.
If the views in a couple coincide, for example, you both adhere to the patriarchal family model and believe that the man is the leader and the woman is the follower, then you are unlikely to have conflicts on this topic. But when partners are on opposite sides of the barricades, there will be many reasons for quarrels.
Some don't want to have children at all, while others plan to have at least three. It is better to find out about the partner's views on this matter before you start a family. And even if your opinions coincide here, many difficulties may lie ahead. To teach a child to read from the age of two or from five, to send him to football or dancing, and how to educate him in general? In search of answers to these questions, you can break a lot of copies.
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- Why it's okay to be childfree
A heavy smoker and someone who can't stand the smell of tobacco will find it difficult to get along together. The same goes for other bad habits. It seems that people with very different lifestyles should not get along, but the reality confirms the opposite. As a result, drunkenness causes quarrels in 6% of respondents, and in 7% of cases leads to a break.
Different political views (one of the partners is a conservative, the other is a liberal, one supports the current government, the other supports the opposition) may well be a reason for swearing. This is exactly what happened to 3% of the respondents. And 5% completely broke off relations with someone close due to a mismatch of positions.
This is one of those areas where you can successfully avoid conflicts for quite a long time. But if an atheist and a believer (or representatives of different faiths) decide to get married and have children, then talking about weddings and baptisms can pretty spoil their mood.
What to do if you are very different
Due to the discrepancy between personal interests and outlook on life, according to VTsIOM, 12% of marriages are destroyed. Another 32% of respondents because of this quarrel with their soul mate. It may seem easier not to ally with a person who has a different view of things that are important to you. But different views are not a reason to bury a relationship. Here's what you can do.
Recognize that you are different and that's okay
Each of you has the right to hold your chosen views. Differences of opinion do not mean that one of you is better or worse, and does not make you enemies. Although it can be difficult to accept: because of the traps of thinking, we divide people into ours and others, and we treat the latter with prejudice.
- Why do we divide people into insiders and outsiders and can this be changed?
Discuss the situation with a partner Perhaps there are questions that are very important to you. For example, you are a man with a patriarchal upbringing and a relationship with a feminist is unacceptable for you. Or you are childfree, and your partner dreams of children.
If no one is going to change their minds or give in, perhaps the relationship is really better to end, otherwise it will turn into a series of conflicts. And if you are still ready to work on yourself and look for compromises, you should give your couple a chance.
Think of a strategy
- Draw a circle of painful topics.
- Agree that you will not devalue and criticize each other's views and principles, and try to avoid hurtful jokes.
- Do not try to convince each other.
- Determine what you will do in the event of a direct clash of views, what concessions each of you is ready to make.
In practice, everything will depend on the specific situation. Let's say that conflicts in a couple arise because of the division of household duties. No one wants to mop the floor or cook and dump everything on someone else. If you calmly discuss the problem, several options are possible.
For example, you and your partner make a schedule and do all the things in turn. Each of you can also choose tasks that are given to him better than others (or just not so annoying) and thus share all the responsibilities. One cooks, the other buys groceries and washes the dishes, one puts things in order on the shelves, the other vacuums. Finally, you can draw lots: who washes the floor this week, and who wipes the dust and does the laundry.
When not to endure
In some cases, maintaining a relationship does not make sense. Here are the signs that psychologists distinguish.
- You quarrel again and again, despite all the agreements.
- Mutual irritation in a couple is growing.
- You don't talk to each other about problems.
- You insult and devalue each other.
- Some of you do not agree to any compromises and refuse to smooth corners.
- One of you is persistently trying to remake the other. Agitates, reproaches, manipulates.
Be that as it may, only you can decide the fate of your relationship.