Couples Therapy pracitioners use a variety of therapy models and intervention techniques to help couples overcome conflicts in the relationship. One of the things we teach couples in conflict is to try to externalize the conflict. The conflict is the enemy, not the people. So when we identify the conflict cycle, we sometimes give it a name, like the “ugly monster”. The couple is then asked to imagine the ugly monster as something outside the marriage who is attacking them. They have to work together to defeat the ugly monster. This is very effective at times and serves to de-escalate the conflict.
This exercise also has the effect of giving the couple a sense of togetherness that has been missing for awhile. Together, they defeat the ugly monster. Together they win for a change. Try it.
For more information about the process of couples therapy, or marriage counseling, see /marriage-counseling/