Yesterday I mentioned the same problem coming up repeatedly. Some couples argue about the same issue for years, never finding a solution.
One reason this happens is the issue being argued is not the real issue. Often we use surface issues to try to deal with something deeper. The deeper issue is usually very personal, and there’s fear about even admitting to the issue, much less talking about it. The never-ending argument becomes a proxy for the real issue.
The deeper issues are generally based in self-esteem:
- Fear of not being a “real man” or a “good woman”.
- Anger over not being respected as a child.
- Fear of being hurt again as when younger.
- Feelings of inadequacy or failure.
Often these issues pre-date the couple even knowing each other, so not only is the issue a proxy, but the spouse is a surrogate for someone else. Is it any wonder the problem is never resolved?
The only way to resolve things it to expose the real issues and deal with those. This is difficult and potentially explosive, so tread lightly.
If you think you have issues behind the issues, work on digging those up yourself, or with the help of a trained third-party. Get a good understanding and needed healing before you address the issues with your wife.
If you think she has issues behind the issues, realise you are shooting in the dark. Suggesting to her that her real problem is such and such will most likely make things worse. Your best choice it to try to build her up where you think she has fears. If you can show her you don’t think what others have thought in the past, she may relax. If she relaxes, she may be able to see and deal with the real issue.