I am going to briefly talk about an issue I have not read about in the couples therapy literature, it is, instead, something I have observed. The issue is talking about how you talk to each other. Couples often get caught up in the details about an issue, who has done it the most, who wants it done, when it should be done, how it is like or not like something else, the details. And they don’t often move to how they are talking to each other about the issue. With many couples, I can tell that they are progressing with each other by their moving in and out of the details to how they talk to each other about those details and then back to the details. Not only is it progress but they are arguing differently in doing so and they feel better about their arguing, probably because it is accomplishing something rather than not.
The point: look at how you talk to each other, look at what else is being said when you are arguing about details.
And please note: it seems like about one in ten couples that come for couples therapy are the reverse, they talk about how they talk to each other too much, they don’t stick with the point or the detail of what they were talking about and they don’t reach resolution. Nothing is fixed. Those couples, if they want to change, need to catch themselves straying form the topic or detail at least some of the time and get back to the task, the detail, the issue.
There is not a right or wrong here, but different ways couples do things, and a need to change how they are doing it. In couples therapy, when this issued comes up, I push them to become more healthy in the way they are talking or arguing or working with each other. Can you see which style you are? Can you work to do it a bit differently?