Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

Relationships and Conflict

b2ap3_thumbnail_pixabay-comfreak2.jpg

Often Relationships Succeed Because of Our Differences, Not In Spite of Them

It is a very common misconception that relationships succeed only when you have a lot in common. All online dating sites are based on this idea. In fact it is often the differences between us that cements a relationship. How many couples do you know who are very different and delight in that difference? Often it creates a polarity of “opposites attract”. Those opposite personalities, when they attempt to cross the divide, are able to complete each other. The very act of looking at something from the viewpoint of someone you love and trust but who sees the same situation very differently, helps us grow as people and as a couple. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_pixabay-Comfreak.jpg 

When There Are Differences, Focus On Solving it Together.

If you have a disagreement with someone you love it is easy to feel personally attacked, and to succumb to the temptation to defend yourself and to retaliate. If you go down that route your partner may rescue the situation by trying to be constructive, or even by pretending to agree with you even when they don’t. Or else they might also go on the attack. 

It is easy to see how a downward spiral can set in, especially if this becomes a pattern of behaviour.

However, if instead of retaliating or leaping to your own defense you step back and focus on the issue you are disagreeing about as a problem you can resolve together you can grow and strengthen your relationship. 

Here’s the magic about relationships; even if you win the argument instead of by solving it together, you lose. You both lose. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_pixabay-Skitterphoto.jpg

Be Specific and Acknowledge you May Have Misinterpreted

It is so easy in the heat of an argument to start describing what is wrong with your partner. Focus on the situation and how it makes you feel. 

If you find yourself saying “You always…” or “You never….” these are red flag terms – stop.

Be specific about this particular argument; don’t frame it in terms of past, un-named behaviours. Also let your partner know you how it makes you feel, and what you need. Acknowledge that you may have misinterpreted what they mean.

“I may be wrong about this but I feel when you say things like “x” …”  and then let them know what you need eg “I need you to tell me that sort of thing in private, not in front of our friends”.

Have you ever been misinterpreted? Or misunderstood? Well, that may also be true of your partner.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_pixabay-geralt.png

Listen Twice As Much As You Speak

The old saying “You’ve got two ears and only one mouth” is very true when it comes to relationships. If you are having a disagreement, let your partner finish what they are saying. Even if you know (or think you know) what they are about to say. Let them feel like you are really trying to listen and understand. Interrupting someone who is upset is not going to bring the temperature of the conversation down.

b2ap3_thumbnail_pixabay-mohamed_hassan.jpg

Change Your View About Conflict

Instead of seeing an argument as something you must win, look at it as an opportunity to make your relationship stronger. It is a chance to deepen your understanding of each other as you are both honest and open about your feelings. 

Conflict can actually strengthen trust between you, especially if both of you start to really believe deep down that you are being really listened to and heard (even if not always understood) by your other half. In fact, conflict is a lot like exercising together. Resistance training develops strength for the body. Conflict training develops strength for the relationship.

 

 

 

Related entries

Avoiding War With The In-Laws

Avoiding War With The In-Laws

My mother-in-law said, 'One day I will dance on your grave.' I said 'I hope you do; I’ll be buried at sea.- Les Dawson  Negotiating tense relationships with in-laws can be a minefield, not to mention a constant headache. Perhaps they disagree with how you parent...

15 Ways to fix your relationship

15 Ways to fix your relationship

Although we are all locked in together, we still need to find time and space to be ‘together’. The Coronavirus lockdown is testing all of us, forcing new relationships along at a faster pace or putting pressure on the cracks in old relationships. Domestic violence is...

Staying together for your kids

Staying together for your kids

Are Mummy and Daddy really happy?   In difficult news, a study carried out by Direct Line has revealed as many as 22% of parents stay in a relationship they’re no longer happy with, purely for the sake of their children. This is a sensitive and tricky subject and...

Latest entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. UEFA.com What are the European...

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad who shares care...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The Dad.info team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1401614927236841474 Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

Pin It on Pinterest