Conflicts often occur between couples—it is a fact of life. Some couples are able to resolve them and move on, while for others, the issue remains smoldering, ready to flare up at any time.
I reflected on some of the qualities that correlate with healthy resolution of issues, and came up with the following:
1) the individuals value their relationship, and do not want a difference between them to undermine it,
2) each individual genuinely cares about the well-being of the other,
3) each makes an effort to truly understand how the other is feeling,
4) there is an absence of blame or fault-finding,
5) there is a focus on finding a solution,
6) both are willing to compromise in order to maintain harmony in the relationship.
Clearly, these qualities are associated with a high degree of maturity. Often, when couples disagree, they can end up sounding like a couple of bickering children. If they become critical of one another, there is soon more harm done in discussing the issue, than by the original problem itself.
Unfortunately, we are not taught how to communicate effectively. I often see couples who ultimately want the same thing, but their communication styles get in the way. They also may not have effective problem solving strategies. These two elements are the primary focus in most marital therapy.
It is relatively easy to come from a loving place when all is going well. It is a challenge to hold that loving space when there is a problem. It is the ability to do this that strengthens and fortifies a relationship—keeping both partners on the same team—exactly where we need and want to be.
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Related MP3s Available:
Conflict Resolution in Relationships
Communication in Relationships
When Relationships Break Down