Understanding Conflict in Relationships


How many of you are in, have been in, or will someday like to be in an intimate, committed loving relationship? Relationships are a fun and exciting aspect of life, but they are also hard, complex, and can be very difficult.  Being part of a committed relationship includes figuring out how to manage tension and conflict.  Every couple experiences times of tensions with their partner, and individuals handle this tension in many different ways.

Of those of you who have experienced conflict… how many of you have suspected that your opinion is the correct one and that your partner is somehow missing something of the point?  They just don’t get it.  This is a common feeling to experience when couples are facing a difficult decision or there is a significant amount of tension between the two individuals.

We are constantly reminded of the marriage statistic saying 50% of marriages will end in divorce.  50% of couples who are desperately in love with each other and committing their lives to the other before God and their families will at some point and say, “I have made a major mate selection choice error.”  Then decide to get a divorce.

There are four common reasons for the breakdown and eventual termination of marriage.  According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (the ones that bring us from legally married to legally unmarried), poor communication is the most common aspect that ends a marriage.  The other three include financial problems, lack of commitment to the marriage, and infidelity.

An important part of marriage is growth.  The relationships we engage in have the potential for us to grow in a positive way.  In-fact research supports that safe, long-term intimate relationships (marriage) not only have the potential for growth but also hold the keys for healing old wounds.

Everyone faces obstacles and hardships in a marriage, but the happiness and milestones shared cannot go overlooked when looking at the overall growth needed in the relationship. Tension, (sharing our thoughts and hopes, difficulties and dreams together) is a clear place of growth potential for your relationship. Treat it and your spouse gently. Be sure you remember how to listen and that you don’t just talk at each other.

Honest curiosity + a hopeful outcome helps to facility this growth potential. Try holding hands and sitting while talking about what is hard. Small things like this change us!

Blessings to your day from Footnotes: Family Counseling Services! To learn more about conflict in relationships, or are interested in couples counseling,  please call to set up an appointment at 507.351.8799.


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