Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Calming Conflict; You Can't Run from It - at Some Stage You and Your Partner Will Disagree. Here's How to Deal with the Turmoil

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Calming Conflict; You Can't Run from It - at Some Stage You and Your Partner Will Disagree. Here's How to Deal with the Turmoil

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: JOANNE WILSON

You've fallen hook, line and sinker if you've bought into the belief you can cruise through a relationship without a disagreement.

In fact, there is plenty of evidence that much of our conflict is caused by personality differences and values that are unsolvable.

They're inevitable!

It's not uncommon for couples I work with to openly admit they avoid conflict at all costs.

Unfortunately, it can become increasingly icy below the surface, resentment sets in and the iceberg can grow too large for the ship to navigate around.

When supporting couples, it's important for me to help them understand factors such as their key underlying emotions and triggers during conflict, however, here are some thoughts you can consider first:

Realise what it is you're arguing about

It's a value difference. It's not about right or wrong. It's about two people who have two different thoughts and opinions.

It doesn't mean you don't love the other person and usually, no one has malicious intent. You're a human being trying to get along with another human being. It's quite ok not to agree 100 per cent of the time.

Work out how important it really is to each of you

Rank on a 1-10 scale for realistically of "How much this means to me?"

For one of you, what luggage to buy for your trip might be very important.

For the other, it might be fairly irrelevant and more about criticism, financial values or seeking to be heard.

Find out why it's that important

If someone lists their choice to cruise around the Mediterranean versus fishing in Darwin as anything over a two or a three, there's probably a reason. Listen to that reason.

Show empathy to your partner as well as actively listening. Avoid "correcting" their reasoning.

And it goes the other way as well. …

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