Judith Rosen Counselling & Therapy

Individuals - Couples - Adolescents

Judy Talks About Conflict in Relationship

One of the natural consequences of two people sharing their lives, their space and their hearts is something called conflict. People avoid it because it’s uncomfortable, not understanding its true value. The way in which we handle conflict can either destroy a relationship or bring two people to deeper levels of love, intimacy and commitment.
 
To resolve anything, we need to know the actual problem, the truth of the difficulty. So often we begin with only a partial truth or a cover-up for something deeper. Couples can fight endlessly over token “tidbits” and never address the real issue.
 
Timing is important. Good communication, which leads to understanding, can happen only when people’s hearts and minds are open. We need to be ready to listen and to speak with an unobstructed openness. It’s essential that we can accept the other person’s experience of the situation without invalidating it. Very little gets accomplished without this kind of sincerity.
 
One of the most unhelpful accompaniments to conflict is anger. We lose our objectivity and comprehension of the whole situation. We focus on one particular aspect of our partner’s behavior, it becomes the only thing we see. Then we react with some form of either aggression or withdrawal. It is usually only when anger ends that we can communicate effectively and move forward towards a resolution.
 
In presenting our differences to our partner, we must remain consistent with the truth as we know it. Tampering with the truth to make it more digestible to our partner, leads to partial resolutions and limited emotional healing. Remaining kind and patient is fundamental to a positive outcome.
 
When resolution takes longer than we would like, we need to patiently hold with the anxiety inherent in this situation “agreeing to disagree.” Sometimes resolution is not actually necessary and understanding is enough.
 
If you are having trouble resolving difficulties in your relationship, I can help. Please call me at 604-538-9796.