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How to resolve conflict in a relationship or marriage

Conflicts are normal and expected whether in a romantic connection or a platonic one.  We as people have different opinions, experiences and beliefs, which influence us in how we deal with life let alone sticky conflictual situations. However, knowing how to resolve these problematic moments is key in strengthening the bond whether the two. I’ll share 4 pointers in what we can do to go from feeling frustrated to feeling closer to your significant other.


 

1) Listen intently and compassionately

More often than not, when couples argue there is a burning desire to feel understood or at times to prove that we are right. While that may seem important, if it is conveyed with ignoring what your partner is saying just to prove your point then you will come across as being insensitive and unempathetic.

 

2) Your partner is NOT your enemy

When resolving conflict, it is important to bear in mind that our partner is not our enemy. This may sound strange but what it really means is being mindful that we don’t use language or a tone that we would later regret. Because this person we are having a disagreement is someone we love. How we speak to them when in disagreement or during an argument show how we respect them even when we have different views on things.

 


3) Don’t rehash past mistakes

When your partner has done something, which upsets you and perhaps this has occurred previously, don’t list out the past mistakes when resolving the current situation. By doing so, it makes your partner feel like he/she is at fault and you come across as a critical judge. This doesn’t clear what is brewing at the moment. So the way to tackle it is to ask him/her how you can help him/her so that there is an understanding from an emotional space of how to resolve this from the core.

 

4) Remind them you love them

This may sound odd especially when this person (at the moment) has gotten on your nerves. The reason it is important to step back from the space of anger or frustration and tell them you still love them is because when we are upset at our partner; it can come across as we no longer love them. The anger mounts up and the energy felt is the opposite of love. So being explicit and telling them you love them and want to clear the air shows not just maturity but it also reminds him or her that you both are on the same team even when there is a conflict between the both of you.

 

Resolving conflict is like learning a new hobby. It isn’t something one can grasp and master overnight. It is a constant figuring out together what words, tone and gestures help in clearing the air. Most importantly, just because one approach didn’t work (for you both) it doesn’t mean you or your partner aren’t cut out for it. It is always easier to scream and shout but it creates a greater divide. So come back to the present moment, look at your loved one and remind yourself that these skills are important to bring you both even closer. And don’t forget to kiss and make up because a long passionate kiss says a thousand words!

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