On the heels of last week’s relationship advice ezine – where I blew the doors off of 3 relationship myths – the myth that healthy couples never fight seems to be a very difficult one to get people to stop believing. As I’ve mentioned to you guys many times before, healthy happy couples do fight – but it is the way they fight that makes all the difference in the world. Below are 3 conflict resolution skills that will allow you to maintain love and intimacy in your relationship – regardless of any fights you and your partner might have.
Conflict Resolution Skill #1: Keep this thought in mind as you and your partner are fighting over anything: Is it more important to be right about an issue you and your partner are dis-agreeing over? Or is it more important that the relationship remain intact? Many times when we fight with our significant other, we fight as if we are fighting for our very lives; and we feel as if we have to “win” our fight at all costs! Think about this for a moment:Is it worth it to “win the battle only to lose the war”? So the next time you find yourself about to enter the ring for a knock-down, drag out fight with your partner, stop and ask your self the question: “Is the issue at hand really that important to me”? Do you need to win the fight and run the risk of losing your relationship? Has the issue you are fighting about become more important than your relationship?
Conflict Resolution Skill #2: People always look at me a little kooky when I say this to them but conflict resolution skill #2 is knowing your position on an issue where you and your partner disagree. Most people say of course I know my position – how else could I fight for or make my case for my position? My response to that is of course you know your actual position on an issue, but I challenge everyone to know what the motivations are, what the influences are, what the values are behind one’s position.
In other words, what is it about who you are that has gone into shaping the opinions that you have and the world views that you hold? These opinions and positions you hold on issues just don’t appear out of thin air. They are the by product of your goals, values, expectations and many other things that have shaped you throughout your life.
So knowing your position (which of course everyone knows) when you are fighting with your partner just isn’t good enough!
Conflict Resolution Skill #3: Conflict will never be resolved, on any level, whether it be in your interpersonal relationships, or on the world stage of political negotiations, without effective communication skills. Notice I said “effective communication skills” not just “communication”. The way we communicate with our self and other’s in our lives ultimately determines the overall quality of our life – and it is, indeed, the foundation for all conflict resolution.
So remember – it is how you fight that determines the health and romance of your relationship – not the absence of fighting! Differences of opinions are a great opportunity to learn more about each other as both a couple and as an individual! Approach your disagreements with your partner as an opportunity for growth – not as a major hurdle to overcome – and your relationship will be able to go the distance!
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann