Being in a relationship does not mean that life will be hunky-dory all the time rather there will be times when you may disagree or even fight with your partner! Well, it is absolutely normal and healthy to have disagreements and conflicts in a relationship, however, the trick is, how effectively you put these behind you and carry on with a loving relationship, is all that matters. Well, if you are looking for ways to manage conflict in your relationship, browse this blog to know some easy and effective strategies that may actually help your relationship to flourish!
What Is a Relationship Conflict?
Every person has a different personality, values, and expectations, and sometimes these may be different or not concur with their partner and that is when situations may crop up where conflicts may arise. Therefore, a relationship conflict can be categorized as any kind of heated debate, disagreement, argument, or scuffle between two people involved in a relationship. Usually, these conflicts can be over prominent or trivial issues such as investments, family issues, or other such issues that may become difficult for the partners to resolve.
Characteristics of Relationship Conflict
There are some characteristics that can be associated with relationship conflicts as most of the time the conflicts exhibit negative traits and may not seem to show any positive outcome or result. Here are some characteristics of relationship conflict:
- Often exhibiting exaggerated or dramatic behavior
- Forgetting or neglecting the outcomes after the conflicts gets over
- Not taking enough measures or steps to resolve the conflict
- Not paying attention to one’s action or words that could embarrass or hurt the other person’s feelings
- Making use of personal information or vulnerability to bring disgrace or shame to the partner
- Invalidating or interrupting the partner or exhibiting defensive behavior
What Causes Relationship Conflicts?
The most important thing to remember is that no two people are alike, which means that there are bound to be differences in opinions, likings, preferences, etc. and this may sometimes lead to conflicts. And here are some pertinent causes of relationship or relational conflict:
1. Poor or Lack of Communication
If there is no two-way communication happening in a relationship, which means that partners are not able to communicate effectively to resolve their arguments, it may result in the same argument over and over again. This may cause more misunderstandings, disagreements, and arguments.
2. Expecting Too Much
Having high or unrealistic expectations from the partner may only lead to despair and sadness. This can also make these kinds of emotions seep into the relationship too. These kinds of reasons also lead to misunderstandings and arguments in couples.
Criticism that leads to positive outcomes and is expressed in a healthy manner is something that every partner would appreciate. However, constant nagging, criticizing, or disgracing the other person’s efforts or endeavors is something that calls for conflicts.
4. Lack of Intimacy
If one or both partners experience hitches in expressing their feelings or emotions to each other, it may lead to misunderstandings and confusion in a relationship. Such situations often lead to problems in a relationship or conflict in the marriage too!
When one of the partners undermines the other partner or makes the other feel insignificant, it not only leads to resentments and disagreements but also changes various dynamics of the relationship and leads to conflicts.
If one partner is too occupied with his or her own interests and puts himself or herself before the other most of the time, it may make it difficult for the other partner to feel loved or special in that relationship. When one person puts his or her aspirations, needs, demands, and preferences over his partner’s, the relationship goes through a bumpy phase.
7. Commitment Levels
Sometimes one partner may be giving more into the relationship or doing more for the relationship to work than the other. This may make the partner feel that the entire responsibility of the relationship is rested on him or her, which may lead to different expectations and conflicts.
Is Conflict Healthy in a Relationship?
The reason for the conflict, how often you indulge in a conflict, how you deal with it, or how it impacts you, are some of the important factors in determining whether a conflict has a positive impact or negative impact on you or your relationship.
Sometimes conflicts may help you in ascertaining situations or problems from your partner’s point of view. It may also help in building trust and developing better emotional intimacy with your partner. It can also lead to defining healthy boundaries in the relationship too.
However, the most significant negative impact of conflicts can lead to constant heated arguments, fights that go out of hand, or constant disagreements which may not only affect the relationship but may sometimes lead to dire consequences such as break-ups or divorces too!
Conflicts are natural and healthy, rather it will be strange if two people don’t have them because after all, we all are different from each other. The catch is to manage the difficult situations well and move on in your relationship rather than creating differences that are irreparable.
Types of Conflicts in a Relationship
Here are various types of patterns of conflicts in a relationship:
1. Sarcastic Remarks or Jeers
This is a type of conflict when one partner makes use of sarcastic remarks for provoking the other partner and when these don’t work, the jeers may take a more specific or targeted turn to generate some kind of reaction from the other. The situation eases when the sarcastic partner leaves, while the other partner remains quiet.
2. Rapid or Dramatic Escalation
One of the partners makes use of excessive dramatic language or expressions, which often results from no or very little provocation from the other partner. The quiet partner has to listen to the emotional outburst until the aggressive one runs out of energy; the quiet partner takes the blame or no reaction is generated from the quiet partner.
3. Stretched Arguments
When one of the partners keeps extending the arguments by getting petty or trivial details with an aim to demand a response or to make the other partner agree with them. In these kinds of conflicts, one partner tries to avoid arguments by staying quiet. However, the quiet person may get into the argument or gets angry too.
4. The Blame Game
This type of conflict arises when one partner blames the other for situations that he or she may be in. The other partner may shy away from the arguments and play defensive until the other partner takes the blame.
5. Seeking Answers
Sometimes one of the partners may seek answers, explanations, or reasons by making constant or persistent efforts. The other partner may not answer or avoid getting into arguments or discussion to give such answers that may lead to doubt, suspicion, or trust issues amongst partners.
Tips to Deal With Conflict in Your Relationship
If you are looking for tips on how to handle conflict in a relationship, here are some tips that may help your relationship:
1. Have Honest and Open Communications
It is important to create an environment for each other where the other person feels free to communicate their feelings. The problems or issues should be discussed openly rather than feeling the need to hide or suppress any emotions or feelings towards each other.
2. Sort Out Problems and Issues
There is no issue or problem that cannot be solved by talking. Therefore, make sure that you do not put away any conflict! As sometimes even a trivial suppressed issue may turn into bigger conflicts that may become difficult to manage. Make sure to empathize and connect with your partner on an emotional level, to reach a solution or to solve the problems amicably.
3. Do Not Lose Your Temper
A sane mind is better at understanding and solving issues rather than an angry one! Whenever any kind of conflict arises, keeping your calm is of utmost importance. Do not use anger, hurtful comments, sarcasm, or other such behavior while discussing issues with your partner.
4. Find Common Grounds
It is very normal that every problem or issue may not have a simple or direct solution but that does not mean that no common or middle grounds can be reached. Making each other’s needs as priorities and understanding each other’s needs can work towards reaching a solution that both can be fine with.
5. Pick Your Battles Wisely
Issues or problems should not occur over small issues such as picking a holiday destination, where to have anniversary celebrations, or which movie to watch on the weekend. The issues that need to addressed should be worth fighting for or should be the ones that you cannot put up with.
How Do You Avoid Conflict in a Relationship?
Here are some ways that you can avoid conflicts in your relationship:
1. Make Efforts to Build a Strong Emotional Connection
If you have a strong emotional bonding with your partner, it opens doors for better communication and thus lesser room for misunderstandings and disagreements. And even if issues crop up, a good emotional connection helps in understanding each other and evading conflicts.
2. Express Admiration and Fondness
How often we make efforts to make our partner feel special and loved. You should not only have respect towards your partner but also show your admiration and fondness towards each other. Sometimes just a small gesture or a compliment can boost your partner’s morale and help in further strengthening the bond. When there are appreciations and admiration then occasional disagreements can be handled well.
3. Make Lasting Friendships
If not best buds, at least try to have a good friendship with your partner. This is because when the friendship becomes the basis of a relationship, it offers better dynamics for the relationship to thrive and develop. Whenever there are any doubts or issues, they can be discussed as friends.
4. Enhance Your Love Maps
As we become veterans in our relationships, we often stop paying heed to know our partner. It is very normal for people to have different aspirations, dreams, or needs as they grow in life. Try and know your partner by engaging in romantic getaways, dates, and romantic conversations to find out what is new in their life, what are their dreams, desires, hopes, or what simply gets them excited.
These are some tips that may help you in salvaging your relationship with your partner. Sometimes issues are not that grave and can be handled with mutual efforts. However, if you are not able to manage conflicts in your relationship, it is always good to seek professional help and advice!