Conflict Resolution With Your Partner
Everyone knows that there will inevitably be times when even the closest of couples will argue or fight. It’s just unreasonable to assume that the bar for a healthy, functioning couple is never fighting because that’s the way it shows you get along with each other. It sounds ridiculous when you look at it that way, and yet, it’s the standard that many people hold themselves to after a fight.
To me, the greatest indicator of a successful relationship isn’t measured by fewer numbers of fights, but rather how you listen and respect each other when those fights occur.
It surprises me how often I’ve had friends mention that they were worried and upset because they had a fight with their partner. Not even a significant one, just a fight, because they weren’t used to being in that situation. I would ask them how the fight went and they would describe something that I would consider fairly small, and how the fight didn’t even end up poorly, it was just a disagreement that got a little more heated than it normally would. I asked them if they felt the fight reached a resolution and they would say yes, they were just afraid of how the fight was going in the moment and they were afraid of the potential for further fights in the future.
I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge that mental health is a very real and very serious topic that should not be overlooked. In the above situation, something that may feel like a straw’s worth of weight if it were on my shoulders may feel like an anvil to someone else. It is important to be conscious of that fact and be mindful of it when discussing other peoples’ troubles. It’s also important to consider your partner’s mental health as well if you were the one in the fight itself.
And that is where the vast majority of the point I am trying to make lies: with compassion and understanding. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they are doing, and committing to being a compassionate listener allows each side to hear and be heard. Taking a real critical look at your opinion by being open-minded to the opinions of others can be challenging at first. It took some time for me to put my ego aside and let people in, but it definitely helped me be a better communicator and a better partner because of it.
Your partner should also be one of the people you trust the most. If there is anyone with whom you should be able to communicate well, it’s your partner. When talking with the person in the example above, their biggest issue was mostly with how they weren’t fighting before, and it was such a new experience to them. It blindsided them and they didn’t know how to handle it, but they still described an amicable and respectful conversation.
If you find yourself in this situation, you are certainly not alone. I would suggest talking to your partner and opening the line of communication to tell them how you feel, while also seeing what their point of view is. Create a safe and happy environment that you both feel comfortable contributing to.
Great communication isn’t everything in a relationship, but it can certainly be the first building block to a very successful one.Follow: