Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?
No matter how happy a relationship is, conflict has a way of rearing its ugly head from time to time. Sometimes it can result in petty jabs at each other, and other times it can turn into a full on argument that seems to appear from nowhere. The fact of the matter is, there is a way to prevent these conflicts from getting blown out of proportion depending on how you react to the situation.
When conflict does arise, there are a few different paths you can take, that will make all the difference in the outcome of the argument. Some of these paths are helpful in diffusing the situation, while others will only result in a more hostile ending.
Let’s be honest, sometimes our partners (or even ourselves) can do or say things that hit a nerve or push the wrong buttons. It’s the way we react in these situations that will determine whether or not the conflict has a more damaging effect on your relationship.
There are a few different types of repair attempts that you can use when conflict arises, so the issue can be resolved without it escalating to more serious problems such as resentment or disconnection.
Low level repair attempts can be used in the moment to prevent smaller conflicts from escalating unnecessarily.
- Apologize while the conflict is still happening. It will have more of an effect in the moment than afterwards.
- Add a little bit of humor into the situation to lighten the mood.
- Touch is a magical thing. A gentle touch can often work wonders to dissolve conflict.
- Let your partner know that you understand why they are upset, and ask them what they need from you to help rectify the problem.
- Reaffirm with each other that you are both on the same team.
High level repair attempts can be used when real emotional damage has already been done.
- Make a sincere verbal apology that comes from the heart, and tell them how much you love them.
- Handwrite a personalized card that emphasizes the love and respect that you have for them.
- Take responsibility for your role in the conflict and ask them what they need from you, to make things better.
- Have an open conversation about how the conflict was triggered and how it can be avoided in the future.
- Tell your partner how much they mean to you and why you think they are worth fighting for.
While these repair attempts are useful to diffuse many instances of conflict, sometimes the hurt and resentment can go a bit deeper and further help may be needed to overcome it.
Conflict doesn’t have to mean the end. Love coaching and couple sessions are an ideal way to bring these conflicts to light in a neutral environment, and give you the tools you need to work through them more effectively.
How effectively do you respond to conflict? Do you react or relate?