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Why You Keep Having the Same Fight & Secrets to Break the Unhealthy Cycle

Are you exhausted by a constant cycle of fighting in your relationship? It’s time to get to the bottom of why you keep having the same fight.

why you keep having the same fight

All healthy relationships come with conflict, and the occasional civil argument is normal– even healthy. No couple will agree on everything. But having the same fight over and over can become a sticking point, causing the two of you to argue in circles and making you both miserable. 

Even if the argument is about something minor, if you wonder why you keep having the same fight over and over, it could be a sign of a bigger problem you are facing.

You need to examine the source of the issue and try to find out why you and your partner can’t settle on this. Even if you think it’s minor, sticking points like this can easily snowball into relationship-ending situations. 

If you notice that one particular topic creeping its way into your everyday talks and causing resentment, it’s time to examine the source. Read on to learn why you can’t stop having the same fight with your partner. [Read: Why fighting in a relationship is important and how to do it right]

Why you keep having the same fight

To end the cycle of conflict, you first have to figure out why you two cannot move past a certain issue. Here are possible reasons you might be fighting the same battle day in and day out.

1. It’s an issue from your past that hasn’t been properly dealt with

A fight that reoccurs numerous times is often something from the past that you haven’t really dealt with as a couple. Maybe you talked about it but didn’t come to a conclusion. Or maybe you did, but are second-guessing that decision. 

Either way, a repetitive fight cannot be ignored– the resentment will build like an ember in a tinderbox. Before you know it, your whole relationship will go up in flames. 

If small fights about taking out the trash turn into big fights, like your partner going to lunch with their ex two years ago, something is being left unsaid. This constant circling back will lead to resentment and fears about the future.

You and your partner have tried brushing the issue off, and it’s clearly not working. You need to deal with the root of the fight you are having over and over if you ever hope to progress in your relationship. [Read: What does a healthy relationship actually look like?]

2. You aren’t being honest about your feelings

If you are having repeating fights, it’s time to communicate your fears and problems to your partner and get your feelings out into the open. They are more likely to be solved soon and smoothly.

When you talk about these things, you build confidence in the relationship and in each other. But, if you don’t, it leads to explosive fights that could cause further problems.

Maybe you’re afraid to bring something up because you don’t want to seem like you’re nagging them or being uncool for being bothered by your partner’s friendship with an ex. Whatever the reason, you need to be honest with your partner and yourself.

If something bothers you, it bothers you– no matter how “uncool” it may make you feel to say so. [Read: Communication techniques to use to really get your partner to open up to you]

3. You aren’t really listening to each other

Also, your fights could just be repetitive. You could keep saying the same things over and over, not advancing in the manner. Perhaps you are so busy arguing your side of the situation that you are not actually listening to what your partner is saying. 

4. You aren’t practicing forgiveness

Forgiveness, especially for large breaches of trust such as cheating, is difficult because it requires input from both partners.

If you decide that you want to forgive your partner, you need to put work into not letting that situation haunt you and guide your decisions. You have to do your best to restore the trust, even though you are not the one who broke it. 

This is a tall order. Not everyone is able to forgive, even if they want to. 

If you are constantly arguing about something you claim to forgive your partner for, you have not actually forgiven them. Bringing it up every time they do something wrong or when they’re mad at you isn’t right. Forgiving someone means you cannot weaponize the thing you forgave them for. 

If you find that you actually can’t let go of something, even if you thought you could, consider the long-term effects. Do you simply need more time or will this bother you forever?

Now that you know why you keep having the same fight, figure out how to stop having the same fight.[Read: How resentment can grow in a relationship and how to weed it out]

How to stop having the same fight

Putting an end to something that keeps creeping into all your arguments won’t be easy. You can’t just let go of what it is that is clearly on your mind, even if it is subconscious.

To stop the cycle, it will require work on both you and your partner’s part to get to the source of the issue. Read on for tips on how to find the source and stop having the same fight. [Read: Double standards in a relationship and why they’re toxic AF]

1. Have you actually faced the issue?

No one is a mind reader. While we hope that our partners can interpret some of our needs and feelings, many times they can’t. 

Is the issue that keeps arising something you pass by in your fights, but is never actually discussed? Maybe you get mad at your partner and storm off instead of actually talking about it, hoping that they will somehow know the source of your angst.

Here’s the thing: they don’t. You have to tell them. Then, you have to talk about it.

Fighting can seem like a stain on a relationship, so to maintain a sense of harmony, many people ignore the problem hoping it will go away. But this method leads to festering communication, which makes things worse.

In that case, nothing is solved and the topic is only touched. You need to set aside time when you are both calm to sit down and talk through this issue completely. 

Take the time to talk and listen so you can understand each other’s side. If you can do that, your relationship is healthy! [Read: 15 signs of a failing relationship that predict the end of love]

However, if your partner refuses to discuss the issue either by shutting the conversation down or becoming combative, you have a problem. Communication is the lifeblood of a healthy relationship, and you have already proven that the problem cannot be ignored. 

2. Can you let go of the desire to win this argument?

Are you the kind of person who has to have the last word? Can you not stand feeling slighted or losing? If these fights can keep arising because of you or your partner’s need to be right or be in control, you have found your issue. 

Solving an argument that keeps coming up needs care and respect. If you are focused on “winning” instead of considering your partner’s feelings and vice versa, things will just stay as they are.

Be willing to give a little to get anywhere. Try to remember that you are supposed to be working with this person, not against them. By wanting to save face and being competitive, we are lost out on being vulnerable with our partner. 

If one or neither of you is willing to be vulnerable and really share your feelings, the true problem will never be solved. [Read: The right way to fight fair in a relationship]

3. What are you, or your partner, really angry about?

There is an old saying that goes “when a couple fights over the silverware, they are not really fighting over the silverware.” 

Maybe the fight you are having over and over is about something inane, and one or both of you cannot figure out why you keep butting heads.

It is likely because you are discussing something that one of you believes to be a surface-level issue, such as leaving dishes in the sink, while the other is experiencing emotional pain. You may not be able to communicate because you are speaking different languages. 

If you are constantly fighting about your partner leaving the dishes in the sink, you need to tell your partner how that makes you feel.

They are likely blowing off your request because it’s “a minor thing that’s not a big deal to them.” And while it may be true that it isn’t a big deal to them, you need to communicate that it is still a big deal to you. 

Explain how the situation makes you feel– tell your partner that when you come home to a sink full of dishes, you feel disrespected and by not doing their dishes they are communicating to you that your wants don’t matter to them. 

Hopefully, showing that the issue not only bothers you but why it bothers you will shed more light on the problem and help you reach a solution together. [Read: How to communicate with your spouse & end the roller coaster ride]

4. Is it a dealbreaker?

Not every issue in a relationship can be solved. Maybe when this fight started, you thought you could get through it.

You believed the issue was something you could let go of. Now that you’ve been together longer, you might realize it is more important than you thought, and you were in denial before.

You need to be honest about your feelings and how you got here. It’s okay to accept that you were wrong about letting something go. But it’s not okay to keep punishing your partner while telling them you want to move on. 

The reality is that some problems are unfixable. Yes, couples should be able to have disagreements and beliefs that differ while being at peace.

Nevertheless, some core issues are too much. If this topic keeps coming up because it affects you more than you originally thought, it could be time to make a hard choice about whether this relationship can survive. [Read: How to fix a toxic relationship… Can you or is it too far gone?]

Maybe you both have different politics and can understand where the other is coming from on most topics, but have one that neither of you is willing to budge on or understand.

You could tell yourself it’s not something you’ll have to deal with and forget about it. But if the issue does come up, it could cause irreparable damage. [Read: 15 big relationship questions you must answer before the next level]

When does the same fight become too much?

You really have to be able to admit which issues you can face together and which you can’t. Maybe a certain topic is off the table for discussion because you know you’ll never agree. But, say that issue is religion. You can have different beliefs, but what about children?

Will you raise your child under both religions, none, or one of them? Will you be able to make a choice you can both be happy with? That is the question you ultimately have to answer. 

The reason you have the same fight over and over is that you haven’t properly discussed the problem, but sometimes the issue is one that you just cannot move past. Life is too short to live in a constant state of turmoil, so choose what you can live with. 

[Read: Why something feels off in your relationship and what to do about it]

Figuring out why you keep having the same fight is the first step to stop having the same fight. Make the effort to figure out why the same arguments keep looping forever and that will guide you toward a better future and a healthier relationship.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...