Worried about conflict in your relationship? Learn how conflict can actually help bring you closer.
This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsy, M.S.
Conflict gets a bad rap. We automatically assume that conflict will collapse a relationship. Some of us avoid conflict like the plague, thinking that if we close our eyes to a potential clash, it doesn’t exist.
It can feel impossible to talk to your partner; is it your style thats making it so hard?
When you are frustrated with your partner, communicating your feelings may be a good way to get it out.
But sometimes we are afraid to talk to our partner about our needs.
Discussing an unmet or a problem with your partner could lead to an argument or confrontation. You might end up feeling every time you have a confrontation that your partner just doesn’t get it.
Why does your husband get cranky when you spend time with the kids? Why is he so demanding of your time when he knows you don’t have any!?
A woman laments: “I don’t get it, Mom, he sees me dealing with the kids – diapering one, holding the other back from hitting the cat, and chasing the third down before he runs naked into the street - and all my husband does is get home from work, plop into the couch and complain “We never go out anymore”?!” “Men are like that,” her Mom says sympathetically.
Conflict is inevitable. It doesn't have to push you apart. If used well, it can bring you closer.
THE TRUTH ABOUT CONFLICT
Conflict is inevitable. All couples have conflict. But it’s how you handle that conflict that defines the quality of your relationship. The decision to use conflict creatively to enhance your relationship and bring you closer is a conscious choice. Disagreements are a viable and healthy part of relationships.
Stand in your power and strength without resorting to your masculine energy to prove a point.
The truth is, many successful, independent women get pegged as being “bitches” when they get into conflict with others, especially at work. Perhaps we are triggered because the person we are with is being condescending, rude, impatient or darn right mean. In any case, the challenge becomes not getting entrenched into the lower, negative energy of the person with whom we are dealing because we want to “win,” or be perceived as being “right.”
When you feel hurt or angry, it may come out in a counterproductive attitude.
There are some common things that people do to undermine the health of their marriage. One of the big ones is harboring an attitude of contempt toward your partner. This attitude, whether expressed explicitly or not, is one of the things you can indulge in that is most deadly for the longevity and happiness of your marriage.
Some disagrrements can't be resolved. Learn whether you're self-soothing or just avoiding.
Last week I found myself having to swallow some of my own medicine. I didn’t like it, but it reminded me how hard it is to manage oneself. I’d gotten into a major disagreement with my trainer, a man I’ve been friends with for at least 10 years. I really like him. It’s always been a smooth relationship between us, so the fight took me by surprise. Him, too, I’m sure. Why we fought doesn’t really matter, but we really didn’t speak for about a week and there was a lot of tension between us.
How we attach as babies affects how quickly we let go of lovers' quarrels.
There are countless studies out there on couples' fighting styles, but new research is finally focusing in on how pairs recover from arguments. As it turns out, how well you patch things up in your current romantic relationship has to do with the quality of attachment in your very first relationship—the one you had with your caregiver as an infant.
The common human tendency to put things into simple categories can poison a relationship!
A lonely wife criticizes her husband as uncaring, thoughtless, and she says she suspects he is unfaithful. He withdraws from the verbal barrage and turns to others who treat him more gently. She then accuses him of having personality flaws that cause him to spend time with another woman. She doesn’t see that her aggressive negative interpretations and judgmental language contribute to the very behavior she feels so hurt by.
What is it about bumping into your ex that turns you into a bumbling fool? How can someone you no longer love cause you such emotional havoc?
I'm out shopping with a girlfriend, and we're wandering around the mall, having a great time, when suddenly she grabs my arm, shoves me in front of her and says, "Don't move. Hide me. He's coming right at us." "Who?" I ask, immediately panicked. I look around. I'm expecting a gun-toting madman, but all I see is this somewhat distracted fellow trying to balance his packages.
Why can't your step-kids make nice and behave like your own kids? Why do your step-children make it so hard for you to just like them, much less love them?
My girlfriend is frustrated, says, "I don't think I can take this any more. I thought a blended family meant we'd blend. Instead, it's like 2 enemy camps, my kids on the one hand, polite, respectful, and his – 2 screaming meemees running amuck. "What does your husband say about it?" I ask. "Give it time," my girlfriend groans.