In our relationships, it’s important to recognize what they thrive on. For many, life is most satisfying in the midst of excitement and adventure! This kind of person brings a lot of joy and energy to those around them. They are always searching for variety in life (trying new food, vacations, fun competition, new family traditions, sight-seeing, etc.) to keep the relationship from getting stale or boring. They have a very passionate marriage because of the way they embrace life and risks together.
The problem comes when life becomes monotonous or difficult, and thrill-seekers respond with the wrong solution. Rather than searching for positive ways to make it exciting, we can sometimes opt for the easy way to bring passion to the relationship: drama and conflict. There’s still plenty of passion, but it’s a passionate fight! It’s tough to avoid because the easiest and quickest way to keep life from becoming mundane is to start an argument.
How can you tell when you’re being dramatic?
You quickly get your feelings hurt and make the disagreement all about the other person.
You feel you have to raise your voice to make your side known.
You and your spouse disagree the most when you are generally unhappy with life’s circumstances.
You want your spouse to know what’s wrong without discussing it.
The lack of drama makes you feel dead, and getting into a fight makes you feel alive.
Remember that conflict is meant to refine us, to break down our flaws, and help us to better the relationship through conversation and compromise. It’s not for entertainment or variety in life. Just as we know it’s unhealthy to avoid conflict, it’s unhealthy to look for opportunities to escalate a disagreement to the next level.
Learn to recognize your struggle.
Passionate and thrill-seeking couples experience the highs in life with incredible joy and excitement. They know how to have fun better than most. But conversely, they can be capable of more intense fights than most. It can be easy to struggle with a roller-coaster of emotions. Work on recognizing the problems. We often spend time identifying areas we are doing well in, and examine our spots of weakness – both personally and as a couple.
Begin observing and analyzing each time you encounter a disagreement. What was really going on? Were you unhappy about life and looking for excitement? Were you struggling with insecurity or anxiousness, and then turned it into an argument? What was going on beneath the surface?
It’s okay for married life to feel stale at times – this will happen. However, learn to recognize what you are feeling before creating negative situations. We can be on guard when those trouble times come, knowing our tendency will lead us to be more dramatic.
Create a strategy to avoid drama.
Be honest with your spouse about your need for excitement or variety, and work together about how you can bring thrill into your relationship. Identify the positive ways you each bring passion and excitement to the marriage. And remember that we need to value a peaceful and secure relationship over an adrenaline rush. As part of your strategy to avoid unnecessary fights and frustrations, prepare for when disagreements will come. When things are going smoothly, talk with your spouse about how you can solve conflict together in a calm and respectful way.
Here are some other Real Married Life posts to read about disagreements in marriage:
Can We Redefine Normal? Fighting in marriage with help from John Gottman.
Be Nice How to fight well in your marriage.
Is Venting Helpful? What are the best ways to deal with problems with your spouse?