Couples Counseling Articles

When Conversations Go Off The Rails – Bad Things Happen

Can you relate? It happens to all of us.

It’s that moment in your relationship when things are great and suddenly someone gets triggered.

The conversation goes off the rails and your partner makes NO sense.

Communication goes in circles and you both feel frustrated, hurt and confused.

Intuitively you know it’s a negative loop – one that’s almost impossible to stop.

You’ve been here 100 times before and you want to stop it………. but you can’t

You’d love to get your point across. But, what you want MOST is to be heard and understood.

Sometimes you’re left wondering what the heck the argument was even about.


These negative cycles are UNIVERSAL and every couple has them.

They start with a trigger. It can be a look, a phrase, even a tone.

When a certain tone triggers an unwelcome response….. BOOM! The cycle starts, escalates and goes on way longer than you’d like.

Then comes that wave of regret…..or maybe a little self-righteousness. (I’m right. S/He’s wrong. Why can’t s/he see it?)

There’s no point in explaining. That won’t go well either…so you shut things down and sweep it under the rug.

If you got rid of the triggers, or at least understood them, maybe things could be better.

You’d love to try again but the risk of another argument feels dangerous. It’s enough to keep you awake at night.

Understanding your cycle, talking about it and tackling it together is surprisingly easy if you care enough.

Having structured conversations that matter is the ONLY way out of the loop. These conversations soothe the nervous system and penetrate the walls between you.

They take effort and some coaching, yet for partners who love each other, they are life-altering.

Decide to learn these skills when you’re not in the cycle.

Then make a commitment and follow-thru.

Eliminate the triggers and the walls between you……..

and you might discover the negative cycle disappears too.