Those little fights and squabbles you have with your spouse add up… and break down your relationship. That’s according to relationship therapist Ester Perel. She says, recurring jabs for, say, not doing the dishes, or mini-arguments about things like your work hours, can create a tear in your bond that grows over time. Perel calls bickering “low-impact warfare.” Because couples who bicker all the time can stay together a long time, because they’re not having giant, blow-up screaming matches. But after a while, that tear in the fabric of the relationship gets so big it can’t be repaired. So why do couples do it?
First, they have a negativity bias. So instead of seeing what their partner does RIGHT, they’re hyper-aware of everything they do wrong.
Also, the person who picks on their partner may do it because, deep-down, they feel they care more about the relationship than their partner does.
Plus, when people are feeling vulnerable, they may go on the attack to mask it. Because anger is easier to express than hurt.
So Perel tells her clients to keep a log of things their partners do RIGHT on a weekly basis, things that make them feel cared about. Because seeing how much your partner does for you can help change your thinking.