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Do you grow from conflict?

Conflict – that scary word for some signals failure

Many of the couples who I see in my sessions are dealing with conflict on a daily basis.  Arguments that go round and round in circles and leave both of them exhausted, bewildered and hurt.

So how do you benefit or grow from conflict? 

Is it really possible.

The answer to this is Yes it is possible.  But only if you understand the root cause of the issue rather than the usual assumption that the subject of the argument is the cause.

This is where the problems occur.  Each of us assume that we understand the other.  When this can be far from the case.  We interpret based on our past experiences in life, the way we learnt as a child……..  (there are many factors) – which is not a good starting place.  Why – well our past experiences, etc., are not those of our partner.  So their interpretation is likely to be very different.  Add in the differences between men and women’s thought processes and confusion and failure are frequently the result.

Should you avoid conflict at all costs?

No.

A couple who never argues is unlikely to be experiencing much passion.  So yes arguments at one level at least spark passion and feelings and so are good.  They can act as a barometer on how strongly you both feel. After all if you can’t be bothered to argue your point you may have well reached an apathetic state.  But you could also be scared to argue – scared of the repercussions of the argument. Scared you won’t be heard.

Conflict can be interpreted as incompatibility

Arguments are healthy if they occur occasionally.  Arguments are healthy if you are able to make up afterwards. In fact for some couples the argument is what sparks the intimacy between them.

But for those couples who find themselves in a spiral of endless arguments where neither feels they are heard and which result in more fury or apathy, resentment and hurt then this is the time to question what you are doing to each other and how to argue better.

It is quite normal to hang on to our point-of-view in the middle of a heated argument.  After all we are focusing all our energy and brain power into putting over our own feelings and views and so frequently will fight to defend that view!

It’s what happens next that is important.  Did you really mean to hurt your partner?  The answer, if you care, is no you didn’t.  Did you mean to undermine them?  Again no.

Change the way you listen

If you can concentrate on this aspect when you argue and remind yourself that even though they may be saying hurtful things (in your view) your partner is not trying to hurt you – they just need to be heard and understood – from the way they feel – not the way you feel.  So rather than defend, explore.  Explore and listen.  You may find the way they see things is totally alien to how you do. This is highly likely.  You haven’t lived their life so their take on it will be different.  Rather than turn them to seeing things your way.  Really use the opportunity to see it theirs.

You may well be surprised.

You see the more we understand our partner the more they are going to feel safe to tell you things before it gets into a crazy argument filled with anger, irritation or fear. Fear of not being understood.  Fear they may not even understand themselves – it’s just the way they feel in the moment.

 

If you are a couple in crisis and need help then please contact me and come and discover how to get out of your particular crisis.