In all healthy relationships there is some level of conflict. No one can agree all the time. Ignoring the signs of anger in a relationship means that something in the relationship is not as it should be. When the conflict becomes long term or is making one or both of the parties unhappy, this may be due to an underlying problem in the marriage. When you learn how to resolve conflicts successfully, you are developing a mature and healthy relationship.
At our relationships counselling services in Adelaide we see and deal with many forms of conflict and arguments. Conflict can be a sign that an aspect of your relationship is not working. Aim to deal with your disagreement in a constructive way.
Conflict in Healthy Relationships
For disagreements about the everyday such as who washes the car, does the dishes or what to do over the weekend it can help to resolve these disagreements in a healthy way.
- Set boundaries. Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, even when you disagree. If your partners uses bad language, name calling, or putdowns tell them to stop. If they will not stop walk away and tell them that you do not want to continue the argument at this point in time.
- Agree to disagree. Not everyone agrees on everything all of the time. Work on what matters. Sometimes a compromise can work.
- How important is this issue? Is this something that compromises your morals or beliefs? Are you both being considerate?
- Think about whether your partner normally gets really upset. Look at things from their point of view.
Speaking and Listening Skills
Hear your partners perspective without interrupting them. Paraphrase back to them what they have said so that they know they are understood.
- Empathise by looking for something about your partner’s view that you agree with
- Be direct. People sometimes just don’t come out and say what is bothering them.
- Practice active listing – put your phones on silent and turn off the television
- Turn and face your partner and make eye contact
- Use “I” statements and express your thoughts and feelings. For example, “When you come home late so often I feel very ignored”.
Beware of Arguing When Stressed
Look after yourself and recognise that if you or your partner is tired, ill, or having a stressful time at work or with a particular relative or situation, remember to self care. Look after yourselves. Unduly stressful circumstances are not the time to bring up an issue of contention. If an argument starts and one or both of you are feeling emotionally vulnerable, the mood and reactions can escalate more rapidly than usual, and a minor issue can be blown out of proportion.
Sometimes when we are low on resources it can be just too difficult to deal with an argument with your partner. Try to postpone the talk if possible.
If you’re looking for help to learn healthy ways to resolve conflict and open the communication in your relationship, then you may find assistance in relationship counselling or marriage counselling.
Adelaide Counselling Practice have both male and female relationship counsellors, so there’s an option that will suit any partnership. We also have flexible working hours to fit around your busy schedule. Whether weekends work better, or later in the evening, our relationship counsellors are available 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm.
There are many different types of relationship conflicts. Relationship Counselling with our Adelaide therapists can help you to strengthen and improve your relationships. Contact our counsellors for an appointment.