Talk to each other to resolve conflict in your relationship
IN any romantic relationship, some conflict is inevitable.
From petty quibbles to full blown rows, how we deal with these conflicts has implications for our physical health, our mental wellbeing and ultimately for the future of the relationship.
We all have different coping strategies when it comes to dealing with conflict.
Some of these strategies will help us to work through issues and strengthen emotional bonds while others end up leading to further problems.
Unhelpful coping strategies are often based on avoidance. This might include giving your partner the silent treatment, drinking alcohol to numb emotional pain or burying your head in the sand.
Others might be more aggressive such as seeking revenge for a particular injustice or trying to manipulate your partner psychologically in order to get your own way.
While these strategies might help us cope in the short-term, they often lead to further relationship problems in the longer term, as the underlying conflicts are never resolved.
More effective coping strategies tend to be communication-based and usually involve being proactive and addressing issues when they arise. Talking to each other is really important and has been rated by both men and women as the best way to manage conflicts.
It’s not always easy to talk when emotions are running high so it’s often a good idea to wait until you both feel calm. Setting some simple ground rules such as agreeing not to raise voices or talk over each other can help you move the discussion forward. It’s also important to apologise when you’re in the wrong and to accept an apology from your partner when it is offered in good faith.
Studies have shown that forgiveness relieves us from the burden of painful emotions such as anger, fear and bitterness and improves our wellbeing, while apologising has been linked to lower stress levels and a sense of being in control of one’s life.
When we use these positive strategies to overcome conflict it paves the way for reaching compromises and spending more quality time together; two further elements that are highly rated when it comes to the key to relationship success.
Communication is key