In her recommended book The Dance of Anger, Lerner wrote: "We all recognize intellectually that repeating our ineffective efforts achieves nothing and can even make things worse. Yet, oddly enough, most of us continue to do more of the same, especially under stress ... Repeating the same old fights protects us from the anxieties we are bound to experience when we make a change. Ineffective fighting allows us to stop the clock when our efforts to achieve greater clarity become too threatening. Sometimes staying stuck is what we need to do until the time comes when we are confident that it is safe to get unstuck." (pg. 44)
Hara Marano: "Most of the things you and your spouse are fighting about today, you'll still be fighting about a decade from now. And that's no cause for alarm. Couples argue about the same issues 69 percent of the time, reports John Gottman, Ph.D., professor of family psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. They don't resolve their problems, his long-term studies of more than 670 couples show, because many of them are actually insoluble. And should they change partners, they'll just get a different set of unresolved issues. "It's a myth that if you solve your problems you'll automatically be happy," says Gottman. "We need to teach couples that they'll never solve most of their problems."
Source: Hara Estroff Marano. "Another round, honey?" PsychologyToday.com. 9/01/1997.
When you reach a point of wanting to get unstuck and are tired of having the same old fights, do these two things first: