So, what do you do?
During adult upsets and breakdowns between couples, the brain/heart goes into a state that mimics that of a toddler who is overwhelmed with feelings. In a sense, you both become toddlers, until one person has a thought something like: “Hey, I can handle this - I’m an adult,” or “S/he's really acting childish, so I need to be the adult. I need to take charge of this situation to get us calmed down! This is ridiculous.” Basically anything that can get your prefrontal cortex involved so your humanitarian spirit is again in the driver’s seat rather than being driven by your reptilian old brain.
That reactive old brain is the one who wants to fight or flee, and immediately pushes couples to be in a state of threat. When you're in a state of threat, your very best friend becomes your enemy simply due to physiology. This is not who you want to listen to in your mind while your partner is visibly upset. Rather, who you want to lead is the adult in you who can take care of settling down the toddlers! Some days this could be you, other days, it could be your beloved - whoever is conscious. Otherwise, your unconscious just runs the show and the same result occurs over and over ... unsatisfactorily predictable.
In a loving partnership, the goal is to be loving.
Life often pushes that goal sideways but it can be uprighted quickly through awareness. Simply knowing what to do and thus changing your perception of a situation can allow for a different outcome. Being aware that your desire is to care for your beloved in times of stress - and to be cared for yourself when your chips are down - is what matters. That’s the juice that can alter your future and bring you the feelings of safety and security you want.
Whoever has the quicker insight to rally first and become a conscious adult in an upset or breakdown is the champion for you both. That could be you - and it might be, actually, just because you are reading this!