It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or how well you get along, you will have conflict in your relationship. It’s a fact of life. You can’t agree on everything. Avoiding conflict is impossible. How you handle conflict in your relationship, however, can make the difference between a healthy relationship and a troubled relationship.
Some things to think about:
Remember Your Individuality
Imagine being in a relationship with someone just like you? Can you say boring! Your individuality is part of what drew the two of you together. Recognize it. Nourish it. Respect it. You can’t have the same thoughts, dreams and feelings. Sure, there are things you have in common. But there are also things that your partner loves, despises, is passionate about and considers important, that you do not. These differences are the core of who your partner is – the person you love.
Instead of looking at your differences as incompatibility, see it as what adds to the dynamics your relationship. These differences keep you on your toes. They add that spark, those intense feelings between the two of you. Trying to figure your partner out, brings excitement to the relationship. Think about it, if your partner wasn’t so passionate about animal rights, you might not own that dog that you absolutely adore.
Use those differences between the two of you to your advantage.
Some differences that you and your partner have might not really add to the relationship, but may take away – if you let it. If your partner is obsessed with football and you can’t stand it – instead of fuming about it, use that time to do something you love. Make it a day for your personal time. This is something that we all need. While your partner watches football, go out with friends, get a manicure, do some shopping or sit in another room and enjoy that romantic or mystery novel you’ve been wanting to read.
Know When to Let it Go
Bigger issues of life difference can destroy your relationship completely. Things like children, religious beliefs, career demands, political ideology and extended family are just a few of the really big differences that can be detrimental to the health of your relationship. Tender care must be given not to let these issues become a major factor that end your relationship.
Some issues and topics that lead to conflict, you should just avoid. Serious differences, that involve your core beliefs and values, like rearing children, must be work out and common ground reached. These conflicts must be resolved and negotiated in a way where both of you feel that your values and beliefs are respected and protected in the relationship.
When there are issues that you differ about, you must listen to your partner and try to understand them to learn why he or she doesn’t want children? Is it just for now or is it something they aren’t interested in right now? Why are children so important to you?
Many couples have overcome differences like this without animosity and anger toward their partner. If you are open to your partner feelings about things, it becomes possible to work out the differences between you. If you find that you are too emotional to deal with a critical issue, allow time to calm thing down before pursuing it further.
Know When to Ask for Help
There are those conflicts that you just can’t seem to resolve or handle effectively by yourself no matter how hard you try. Don’t be embarrass to ask for help. Some of the happiest couples have had unresolved issues where they needed professional help – an intervention to save their relationship. They would be the first to say, it was worth it.