I have written about “the edge” before, the place where each person in a duo rubs against one another in a way that doesn’t work well, is irritating, causes problems, and usually makes both really mad (whether he/she shows it or not). Every couple that I have encountered in my office that comes for more than a brief time gets to their edge. Most couples that only come once or twice without much relief were entrenched in their edge and so lost in it that they really didn’t want to change and couldn’t come back to therapy because they were quiting something (their relationship, trying, therapy). It often happens, with many couples (of any kind): when you are together enough, the edge(s) comes out.
The hard part is moving away from the focus on what he/she has to change and to what I have to change. Any change in either of the parties begins to get things going in a new direction, opens up new possibilities, begins to circumvent the old ways of doing things (read that as: changes the old ways of useless arguing). It is always easier to want someone else to change. It is hard to change your edge, a weak part in you that you hardly know. It is very often the answer to how to get significant change for the couple.
So, looking at what was so upsetting for you, then moving to what you need to change is a way to walk up to your edge, a way that you are weak and causes problems for your significant other(s). See if you can shine a light on yourself, into the shadow, at your own edge, then see if you can work to change that. Results will follow.