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Marital and Couples Counseling

Over the past 33 years of working with couples at all stages of their relationship I have seen that many couples who come in for communication deficiencies engage in what I call “circular arguing”. Circular reasoning is where one partner brings up an issue (usually when irritated) to get change for and the other partner hears a completely different issue and argues back about that. For instance, if a partner says “I can’t stand it when you constantly nag me!”, and is basically requesting to be asked for things in a different way, and the other partner hears “Stop asking me for things I don’t want to do!”, and responds with something like, “Well if you weren’t so lazy I wouldn’t have to!” The issue of how to ask for things gets lost in the issue of how lazy or not lazy the partner is. There is no resolution with Circular Arguing and each partner usually walks away feeling misunderstood and rejected. Neither feels heard and cared about. Asking for what you need and adding a “hearing step” can remedy this kind of fruitless bickering and increase rather than decrease intimacy.

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