One of the hardest things to handle in a relationship is conflict. While a good and fair fight can clear the air and help you to feel closer to your lover, many fights are just hurtful and destructive. Fights that never go anywhere, that are repeated year after year, or that leave you feeling awful about yourself are not going to help your relationship. Thoseare the kinds of fights we need to take another look at, and find out what is going on underneath. This is true for any conflict that doesn't feel right, not just those you have with your lover.
With most fights, there are layers of what we mean, feel, intend, hope for, and believe, and what we actually say. We may only say a little of how we feel, or we may even say the opposite of howwe're feeling on a much deeper level than the surface. Problems arise when we don't come from the deeper levels.
Some people think that the top layer of what they feel and think is all that there is, yet they feel something's missing in their relationship. Others know how they feel but instead of stating their feelings as their own, they blame how they feel on their lover, leading to hurtfeelings and arguing that goes nowhere. This is often the time that people call it quits on a relationship.
Many break-ups occur because we do not know how to get to our inner depth, or getting to it, how to share it. What we want to say isn't what comes out of our mouths. We argue about something meaningless in order to get space from our lover, rather than feel the anxiety or fear we mayhave about setting boundaries or looking at what we need. We argue to feel more alive, instead of looking at what is missing in our life. We argue about what our lover spent money on, rather than face our own issues about money. We argue as a way to control our lover, rather than face our fear of being controlled. Regardless of the content of the argument, until we are prepared to expressand respect our lover's deeper feelings, beliefs, and meanings (and s/he respects ours), very little change can take place.
We can work around our lover's "sensitive points," expect them to do the same for us, and make compromises, but how far does that really take us? While problem-solving can help, particularly in the immediate future, often it isn't enough for the long run. As long asthe deeper issues remain unaddressed, our relationship will be flattened, soured, or lost to meaningless fights
Healthy or Unhealthy
There is no such thing as a relationship without conflict.
Conflict is a part of life. It exists as a reality of any relationship, and is not necessarily bad. In fact a relationship with no apparent conflict may be unhealthier than one with frequentconflict. Conflicts are critical events that can weaken or strengthen a relationship. Conflicts can be productive, creating deeper understanding, closeness and respect, or they can be destructive, causing resentment, hostility and divorce. How the conflicts get resolved, not how many occur, is the critical factor in determining whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy, mutuallysatisfying or unsatisfying, friendly or unfriendly, deep or shallow, intimate or cold. Conflicts run all the way from minor unimportant differences to critical fights. There are conflicts of needs, wants, preferences, interests, opinions, beliefs and values.
|[pi|Not discussing with your partner the method used to resolve your conflicts.|
|c] | |
|[pi|Discovering too late that more information was needed, e.g., "I should have placed the order sooner, now they are sold out." |
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