While a good shouting match can be cathartic and lead to greater communication once in a while, marriage and family counselor John Gottman found that 69 percent of marriage conflicts are never solved.
Couples fight about money, housework, how they spend their free time, intimacy—the list goes on—but for most couples, there’s one specific topic that keeps coming up over and over again. “Couples have the same fight because they haven’t learned the communication skills necessary to respond differently to each other,” explains relationship expert Sheryl Paul, M.D. “The fights aren’t about the story; they’re about partners becoming triggered and getting caught in a pattern.”
So, what can you do to break that pattern? Here’s your action plan.