High Conflict Couple

feeling taken for granted - hijackal traits you need to knowHijackal® behavior creates high conflict couples.  They exhaust themselves and, eventually, the relationship.

A High-Conflict Couple involves one or both partners who:

  • Just want to keep the conflict going, any conflict.
  • Blames, shames and/or judges…and then justifies his/her own behaviors by making it their partner’s fault.
  • Is always seeing the downside potential in everything.
  • Holds on to ideas and approaches that don’t work but they don’t change.
  • Seems to have difficulty empathizing with anyone.
  • Manipulates facts into emotional conclusions s/he thinks are facts
  • Is sure that any problem was not caused by him or her….ever!
  • Don’t think there is a problem with them and therefore do not need any professional help.

In most cases, there is a Hijackal partner who has shifted the relationship to a continuous power struggle. That person hijacks the relationship for their own purposes while scavenging it for power, status, and control.

Are you part of a high-conflict couple? I’m Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, The Relationship Help Doctor, and my specialty is working with the partners and ex’s of high-conflict people. Whether you are loving, living with, or leaving your partner, you need to understand these patterns that a high-conflict couple experiences, and break some thought habits. I can help. 
help-with-hijackal1High-conflict people are masters at sucking the joy out of daily life… but they don’t even do it on purpose. They operate from instinct and habit.
In my latest book, Escaping the Hijackal Trap: The Definitive Guide to Dealing with Chronically Difficult People, I coined the term, “Hijackals™” for them  because they have a tendency to ambush or corner you and growl a lot! 

Why is this so? Because one or both partners operate mainly from their own fears.

Even if you started the relationship with the Hijackal without operating from fear, it soon develops. If you’re the Hijackal, you are afraid of not winning, not having power or control in the relationship. If you’re the Hijackal’s partner, you are afraid of not being good enough, not being loved, and wanting to please more than is good for you.

These very real fears play out in repeated patterns, particularly when the couple is arguing–which they do a lot!   Whatever they are arguing about is likely not life or death, but the engagement in the fight for anything seems like it is.

Hijackals feel as though they are fighting for their lives, even when the argument is about where to have dinner!  If these are the kinds of situations your relationship repeats over and over and over, we need to talk.  This is tricky, sneaky business and I can give you the relationship help you need right now.

What Can You Do To Improve Your Relationship When You Recognize You Are Part Of A High-Conflict Couple?

 Read my books and learn more:

Escaping the Hijackal Trap: The Definitive Guide to Dealing with Relentlessly Difficult People. 

The Hijackal Trap: Passive-Aggressive Edition

Stop! That’s Crazy-Making! How to Stop Playing the Passive-Aggressive Game

The fastest way?  Schedule a personal or couples session to work towards creating the emotional intimacy you want and need now.

Book a private session with me, Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, today! OR start with an introductory 1-hour session to help narrow down where the trouble is and what we can do together to get you back on track.high conflict couple

Want to work it out with your partner and prevent ending the relationship? Read my book, Kaizen for Couples: Smart Steps to Save, Sustain & Strengthen Your Relationship. If you already know you are ready for serious relationship help, and are committed to doing everything you can – together – to repair what’s broken, then consider my Kaizen for Couples Private Program. We can work in person in Escondido, CA, or by Zoom from anywhere you are!

Need more information?  Call me at For Relationship Help in San Diego, CA at 760.593.4604


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