Tension and conflict are an inevitable part of any relationship, it might be a moment when he said he would text you at the end of a night hour after being with his friends, and he didn’t. It might be the moment where he interacts with someone in a way that makes you feel jealous or maybe he was blase about something that was really important to you or forgot something; a promise that he’d made to you.
Tension in these moments is inevitable but damage to the relationship is not. You see it doesn’t necessarily matter what you argue about but it does matter how you argue about it, and most of us have some kind of reactions that we do when we’re feeling scared and hurt that destroy instead of developing the relationship. I want you to take a moment to be really honest with yourself and think about what yours are what’s your pattern I’ll name a few and I want you to see which of these you relate to:
- We go silent when our partner does something we don’t like we go into ourselves and we give them the silent treatment.
- We storm off. We make a point of getting out of their vicinity not giving them a chance to talk to us but instead just disappearing.
- We label our partner instead of saying that was a selfish thing you did we say you’re a selfish person. For you make the argument black and white he’s wrong you’re right and there is no room for interpretation or for listening to both sides of the argument.
- Instead of communicating with him you simply vent to your friends often vilifying him in their eyes in the process. You go on the attack with vicious comments that are designed to inflict pain not solve problems. What we have to remember about these reactions is that, they are reactions to fear, fear that we’re not enough, fear that we won’t be loved, fear of abandonment or fear that we chose the wrong partner in life.
- When we’re afraid we do crazy, why because we’re all a little up we all are and although we’re working on that and we all are especially if you’re watching this channel we know that in the meantime while we’re working through our issues.
We have to have better response systems for dealing with conflict, because even though we might not fully have a handle on every single one of our emotions in every given moment. What we can control is our reaction to those emotions. So, what are the trained responses that we should be working on?
- Instead of going silent speak.
- Instead of disappearing stay and solve.
- Instead of labeling your partner and denigrating their character focus on the behavior you didn’t like.
- Instead of making things black and white, allow for nuance in the argument, allow for complexity.
one of my favorite phrases in life is why can’t both be true, why can’t it be true that something he did was selfish and also that he didn’t really mean to be or that maybe you overreacted in the moment why can’t both be true instead of going to your friends with a propaganda campaign on how badly he acted. Choose one person or two people that are grounded that helped you organize your thoughts and then go back to him to talk and use restraint with the kind of words and phrases and attacks that tomorrow you will wish you could take back.
Look when we’re feeling vulnerable or afraid we all have our own special brand of crazy. But when the intoxication of fear wears off all we will be left with is a reaction we are ashamed of. When I see someone acting in weird or wonderful ways I don’t see a crazy person I see someone who’s scared, but what we have to be big enough to realize is that relationships are made or broken in the moments of conflict and tension. So, we have to learn how to navigate those moments because that will be the difference between finding and keeping lasting love or losing it forever.