Conflicts are an integral part of any relationship; even healthy relationships are expected to have conflicts. However, continuous conflicts may be a sign of a relationship problem. Some couples may want to dissolve the relationship to prevent further frustration or hurt. Building and maintaining a relationship is not easy. It requires a lot of effort and time. Consulting with a relationship expert can help couples through difficult scenarios and can provide customized solutions based upon their unique needs.
In this article, you will learn more about conflicts in relationships and how to deal with them efficiently.
What Causes Conflict?
Differences in values and personalities are responsible for the conflicts in relationships most of the time. However, some common causes of conflict in intimate relationships are as follows:
- Poor Communication
There may be recurring conflicts if you and your partner cannot resolve an argument through constructive communication. In this scenario, it is essential to listen to your partner’s needs and demands whilst sharing your thoughts in order to resolve an issue.
- Self-Centered Attitude
Selfish thoughts or attitudes are considered to be one of the common reasons behind conflicts. There is nothing wrong with focusing on your needs or fulfilling your demands. However, you will feed your ego by focusing only on your needs or demands and will fail to pay any attention to your partner’s needs, desires, or demands.
- Excessive Expectations
Sometimes you may feel hurt or betrayed when your partner fails to fulfill or live up to your expectations. We all have expectations when it comes to relationships. However, it is important to understand which expectations are justified and which should be released. Unrealistic expectations lead to conflicts.
- Negative Criticism
Constructive criticism leads to improvement whilst demeaning criticism leads to conflict. Hence, it is essential not to belittle your partner. It will bruise a person’s self-respect and will cause resentment.
Does Conflict Strengthen the Relationship?
It may be hard to believe, but there is a positive side to conflicts in romantic or marital relationships. No relationship will evolve without conflicts and you may learn a few truths about your partner.
- How he/she feels about a relationship
- What are his/her needs, expectations, or sources of disappointment
It is difficult not to feel disheartened or angry during the conflict or when learning about your partner’s desires or demands that contradict yours. However, you can understand your partner better and can find a common ground if you remain level-headed instead of losing temper or being defensive. It enables you to clearly evaluate a situation and let you discuss the main issues that led to an argument without having any resentment and bitterness.
Managing Conflicts in Relationships
Why Sometimes Conflict is Healthy for Relationships?
Conflicts will be healthy for any relationship if both partners can own up to their mistakes.
- Make Positive Changes to a Relationship
Conflict provides you with an opportunity to make changes to a relationship if both partners agree to it.
- Brings Interdependence of Life to Surface
You will only be in conflict with your partner if your lives are interdependent with separate goals. For example,
You and your partner may share a car. In this scenario, there will be a conflict if both of you need to use the car at the same time in order to reach separate destinations.
This type of conflict can be resolved with a little effort; however, it shows that you and your partner are interdependent on one another.
- Brings the Source of Resentment to Surface
The source of a conflict between you and your partner may be related to an ongoing issue or may be something that happened weeks or months ago. The current issue may have triggered the conflict; however, it may be related to a different issue. It is essential to correctly identify this source in order to resolve a conflict.
However, you cannot look for the source of a problem when you are angry, as you are likely to be reactive, defensive, offensive, and irrational when in a conflict. Thus, you have to calm down and think rationally in order to find the real reason behind a conflict. You will also find out how your emotions control the thoughts or communication after having an argument.
Positive effects of Conflict on Relationship
Your relationship with your lover or spouse may benefit from a conflict in the following manner.
- Builds reliability and trust in a relationship
- Improves emotional intimacy between partners
- Enables you to have positive feeling regarding you and your partner
- Enables you to get your partner’s perspective about the relationship
- Both partners learn to develop healthy boundaries in a relationship
How do you handle conflict in a relationship?
It is essential not to shout, scream or insult during an argument. This will worsen the situation instead of resolving an issue. You and your partner may behave in the following manner for a positive result.
- You and your partner have to feel comfortable when expressing feelings regarding an issue or a scenario.
- It is essential to remain as level-headed and rational as possible during an argument. It will be impossible to resolve a conflict if it leads to aggressiveness and insults.
- It is essential for both partners to ask one another if there is an underlying issue that needs to be fixed.
- Both partners have to come to a healthy and mature agreement in order to find a solution that is beneficial for both of them.
- If the argument is over a trivial issue, then it is prudent for both partners to back out of it.
- If you and your partner cannot come to an agreement despite numerous efforts and keep fighting over trivial issues, instead consult an expert who provides couples’ therapy.
Conflicts and Relations
It is impossible not to have an argument or conflict within relations, as there may be differences in opinions, choices, or values between partners. However, it is essential not to let a conflict turn into an ugly fight which may lead to estrangement. Conflicts may improve a relationship; however, both partners have to put an effort in order to keep the romance alive.