Fighting – or conflict if we want to get a little fancy with our words here – is a normal, even healthy part of any intimate relationship. We are all individuals, and as such, you and your partner are not going to feel and think the same way about every issue and/or situation that comes along. In other words, since you both have minds of your own, you’re bound to disagree – and hence, fight – at times. And that’s okay.
Here are three proven tips for healthy conflict resolution.
1. Communicate your feelings about what is bugging or upsetting you. The trick to maintaining love and intimacy in your relationship is NOT to avoid the fact that you and your partner may be angry with each other or feel differently about some issues. It’s to bring these angry and/or differing feelings out into the open so you are both fully aware of them.
I wish I had a nickel for every time someone told me: “I shouldn’t have to tell him/her that I am upset about blah, blah, blah (whatever it is the person is upset about) – he/she should know.” HELLO?! Well maybe he/she should know – but so what? Not everyone is a mind reader. If they don’t know – tell them. Your relationship is not a game – with a winner or loser. You don’t want to go there. Your relationship is a partnership. So act like it, and communicate your feelings. There is too much at stake to be playing a guessing game.
2. Listen to what your partner has to say. Once you’ve said your piece about what is bothering you or how you are feeling about a particular situation, it’s time for you to be quiet and let your partner tell you how they feel about the situation – and what you just said.
Don’t interrupt them, and be truly open to hearing their side of the issue and conflict. There is a pretty good chance you played some role, albeit minor, to get you to where you are feeling now. Now relax, I am not suggesting that you are to blame – I am only suggesting there is no such thing as a one-handed clap. Got it?
3. Be open and willing to compromise – and forgive – if the situation calls for it. Chances are your partner did not deliberately set out to upset or hurt you. Misunderstandings and miscommunications happen all the time. We are all only human and we all need to be able to compromise and forgive at some point in our relationship – if we are in it for the long haul. Remember, the future might call for you to be forgiven by your partner – so what goes around, comes around. And while we are talking about compromising, let’s not forget that sometimes we need to be able to “agree to disagree,” respectfully, of course.
Relationships are like life – they take you down paths and roads that twist and turn and often take you off course. The secret is to enjoy the journey with the one you love – and don’t sweat every unexpected detour and pothole that comes your way.
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During the past 25 years, renowned relationship expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin has helped hundreds of people rekindle romance and reignite passion in their relationships. The solutions in her Relationship Toolbox™ help couples re-build romance so intimacy inside and outside the bedroom can flourish. Through her successful 25-year marriage and her experience of raising 4 children, Dr. Patty Ann has earned an international reputation for saving relationships. To reignite your flames of passion, visit her site at www.drpattyann.com.