Relationship Minute: Why Is This Important?

Reflecting on arguments they’ve had, many couples will say, “I don’t even remember why it started,” or, “It was over nothing.” But unless you try to investigate that, arguments and conflict may begin to feel frustrating or unresolved for you. The next time you and your partner find yourselves at odds, try asking yourself, “Why is this important to me?”

Dreams, deeply held values, and beliefs lie at the root of every conflict you and your partner have. Even if it seems silly at first.

For example, you might dismiss a squabble over who gets to pick the movie for date night as “fighting about nothing.” But, if you investigate why it turned into a tiff at all, you might remember that your opinion or taste was often dismissed by your family growing up. Or maybe your partner is feeling like they aren’t being heard in the relationship or don’t have an equal say.

If you write it off as nothing, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to learn, to connect, and to be a better partner.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.