Stop Repeating the Same Arguments

7 Steps to Understanding Counterfeit Conflicts

Every relationship has it’s rough spots. But when conflicts arise time and again, its time to solve the source once and for all -- and your reactions may surprise you. As Dr. Charlotte Kasl uncovers in her spiritual guide to marriage, If the Buddha Married, these conflicts could be remnants from your past relationships - or even your childhood. Learn how to recognize this problem pattern and move beyond these emotional hurdles in seven simple steps.

While life will always hand us problems to solve, there are what I call "counterfeit conflicts" that don't have much to do with what's really going on in present time. Throughout the dance of relationship, it's important to sort out ego-based reactions from childhood that need our individual attention, as opposed to true conflicts in the present that need us to negotiate our differences.

In troubled couples, people often start fights or create dramas in order to avoid their fear and emptiness. This is extremely common when there are active addictions or dependency in the relationship. We fight over red-herring issues and focus on our partner instead of focusing on ourselves. A man keeps urging his wife to lose weight and says he can't be sexually attracted unless she does, but doesn't realize he plays a part in his own sexual arousal.

Another cause of counterfeit conflict is when people, having adopted the belief that the world is hostile, are hyper-alert to any possibility of rejection or insensitivity, and repeatedly pounce on their partner with claims that he or she is mean, uncaring and so on. This common distortion of reality leads us to live in fear and give our power to our partner. We need to ask ourselves repeatedly, "What was really said?" How did I filter it through my own internal belief system?" Of course, this implies that we ask ourselves, "What is my internal belief system about the world?" about other people's intentions.

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