As anyone who has been in any relationship knows, conflict will inevitably occur. Disagreements are a normal part of every human relationship. Couples argue about a variety of things, ranging from child rearing to household upkeep. Although arguments are considered to be bad for relationships, this isn't necessarily true. The fact that you have disagreements with your partner or spouse does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. In fact, conflict is a sign of a healthy relationship. When a couple does not argue about anything, it could indicate that there is an unfair balance of power in the relationship, which is not healthy. When it comes to disagreements, the important thing is how they are handled.
Conflict resolution is critical for maintaining healthy relationships. Effectively managing conflicts can help you, and your partner better understands each other. It also helps you arrive at a solution that meets both of your needs.
Here are three of the top strategies for managing conflict in your relationship.
#1 Remain Calm
When you are angry, it can be challenging to remain calm. You might be tempted to lash out at your partner. However, it is essential to avoid destructive actions that can seriously harm your relationship, such as insulting your partner or calling them names. One of the keys to solving disagreements in a healthy way is to learn to recognize when things are getting too heated and learning to calm down.
Before erupting in anger, you’ll notice physical signs. You might feel hot or tense. These signs serve as a warning that you are close to boiling over. When you first notice yourself feeling this way, take action. Step away from the argument until you feel more relaxed. Maybe go for a walk or listen to music. You can always come back to the issue later when you are not so angry.
#2 Listen To Your Partner
During an argument, do you ever find yourself waiting impatiently for the other person to quit talking so that you can get your point across? If you do this, then you are not listening to your partner or spouse. Instead of trying to get your point across automatically, make it a point to stop and listen to your partner. Put yourself in your partner's shoes and try to understand how they are feeling. Then, repeat back to your partner how they are feeling. You can say something like, “it sounds like you are feeling…….” This will help them feel understood and respected. If you have difficulty hearing your partner or you think that they don't listen to you, consider Sacramento couples counseling to help you work through communication issues.
#3 Clearly Express Your Needs
Many people struggle with expressing their needs and feelings plainly. However, unmet needs are usually what leads to arguments and unhappiness in a relationship. Tell your partner how you feel and what you need using “I statements.” For example, you might say “I feel very overwhelmed because it seems like I do more of the housework. I need you to help out by doing the dishes every other night.” This statement allows you to respectfully express your feelings and let your partner know exactly how they can help.
Dealing with conflict in your relationship is key to a lasting, happy union. Roseville marriage counseling can help you and your partner learn to work through disagreements. If you are looking for relationship counseling in Sacramento, contact us today.
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership.