Conflicts Dont Have to Mean a Fight to the Death

Although conflict in marriage is inevitable, fighting is optional.

The secret is in how you approach and handle the conflict. It can make the difference between a really great relationship and a breakup looking for a place to happen.

With that notion in mind, let's take a look at five styles of handling conflict, along with alternative solutions for each.

Ready-Fire-Aim: These folks are the shooters of conflict.

They live by the motto "cross me and you will pay." Instead of ready-aim-fire, they shoot first and ask questions later. This style causes lots of damage and usually serves to isolate the shooter.

An alternative solution, in the words of St. Francis and Stephen Covey, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." If you take the time to understand someone and that person's point of view, it's a whole lot easier to keep your shooter in its holster.

Crock potters: They let a conflict simmer for a while. Sometimes it can be as harmless as needing to mull things over before handling conflict. At their worst, crock potters simmer and seethe, building resentments, blowing up or both.

It can be healthy and productive to mull it over before you respond in a conflict. But instead of allowing it to boil over, agree on a time you will sit down together and calmly address the conflict.

Me right/you wrong: This style of conflict really is as primitive as Tarzan. People who hold tightly to the right to be right can go to just about any length to prove they are right, even to the point of ending the relationship.

The alternative solution is to punt. Give up the right to be right. Check out what you might be able to learn from the other point of view, which might even be as valid as your own. Shocking, I realize, but highly possible. The simple truth is that in marriage there are times when you can be right or be happy, but not both.

Tomb-ers: They elevate the infamous silent treatment to an art form. Conflict arises and they shut down. When you ask what's wrong, their reply is either "nothing" or "everything's fine," but you know better.

Usually tomb-ers have a strong fear of conflict, believing that any conflict will end the relationship. Quite the opposite is true -- not dealing with the conflict can kill the relationship from within. Here are some words to begin with: "Can I tell you what I'm uncomfortable with here?"

Historians: They remember every fault, mistake and blunder ever made by their partner, including what was said, what you wore and where you were standing at the time. And they're more than willing to remind you, in detail.

An alternative solution is to get a dry-erase board and write the current conflict on the blank board. Deal with it. Resolve it. Erase it. Over, done with, gone.

I'm guessing that you have identified your partner's style of conflict. Now, read back through the categories and ask yourself: Which one am I?

Jeff Herrring, MS, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, speaker and nationally syndicated relationship columnist, and founder and CEO of http://www.Couples-Connection.com. You can email Jeff at [email protected] and sign up for his f'ree internet newsletter "Couples-Connection on his website at http://www.Couples-Connection.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Belarus Calls Same-Sex Relationships 'Fake' After U.K. Raises ...
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Belarus calls same-sex relationships “fake” in response to Britain raising a rainbow flag outside its embassy in Minsk.

and more »

Journal Times

Health benefits of grandparent-grandchild relationships
Journal Times
Although a bevy of psychological research focuses on parent-child relationships, new evidence points to the benefits of the grandchild-grandparent relationship as well. Close relationships between these different demographics is often a sign of strong ...


U.S. News & World Report

The Power of a Relationship
U.S. News & World Report
"These studies are important because they tell us that teacher-student relationships matter," says Tyrone Howard, a professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is writing a book on the research about students' relationships ...


13newsnow.com WVEC

Relationships can crash from 'Love Bombing'
13newsnow.com WVEC
Relationships can crash from 'Love Bombing'. Unable to load video. New relationships can be exciting. Some experts say experiencing high emotions and feelings too quickly could lead to disaster. Published: 11:20 PM EDT May 21, 2018 ...


Turns Out That Compromise Isn't the Key to a Happy Relationship After All
Greatist
"Good relationships are all about compromise." "If you want a great relationship, learn to compromise." "A healthy relationship means compromise." Some variation of "compromise more" is probably the most common, universally accepted piece of ...


euronews

Belarus says same-sex relationships are 'fake' after UK embassy displays rainbow flag
euronews
"Say what you will, but single-sex relationships are a fake. The LGBT community and all this fight for 'their rights' and the community's day - it's all just fake!," it added. The British embassy had displayed the rainbow flag between the Union Jack ...

and more »

WPSD Local 6

Front Line of Safety: How school officials are building relationships to protect students
WPSD Local 6
LYON COUNTY, KY — When you send your child to school, you expect them to have their books, notebooks, and a backpack —not weapons and drugs. Do you know what kids may secretly be carrying down those halls? It's the job of Lyon County Sheriff's ...


New York Times

Review: In the Relationships in 'Singlet,' One and One Make One
New York Times
If these two were any closer, they'd be wearing each other's skin. First seen in silhouette, in profile, the pair of performers who make up the entire cast of Erin Markey's “Singlet,” which runs through June 3 at the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, suggest ...


BBC News

Relationship focus as sex education is overhauled in Wales - BBC ...
BBC News
Children in Wales will be taught what makes healthy relationships and there will be more emphasis on sexuality as part of an overhaul of sex education. Primary ...
Focus on relationships and sexuality in changes to sex education in Welsh schoolsITV News
Sex and relationships education to be overhauledSouth Wales Argus
Education Secretary announces major changes to sex and ...Western Telegraph
WalesOnline -The Guardian
all 10 news articles »

Teachers' work ability: a study of relationships between collective efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs
Dove Medical Press
Gloria Guidetti,1 Sara Viotti,1 Andreina Bruno,2 Daniela Converso1 1Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2Department of Education Science, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy Introduction: Work ability constitutes one of the most ...

Google News

When Are You Ready to Move onto a New Relationship?

Breakups can be painful and difficult on so many difficult... Read More

Self Truth and Your Relationships

Questions and AnswersHow can I learn how to be true... Read More

After Retirement Separation - Life Just Gets Better!

Life after retirement separation can be a very lonely one... Read More

Love is not Something you Say, Its Something you Do

Many have problems with communication and using that "love" word.... Read More

When Groucho Marx Got It Right

Groucho Marx was, I believe, a comic genius; a linguistic... Read More

A Recipe For Romance

So, tonight's the night. You want to have a Romantic... Read More

Being Mindful of Your Mates Space

SOMETIMES I'LL ask a couple I'm seeing in therapy to... Read More

How Love Dies: Spot the Symptoms Now, and Get Your Love Back on Track

Are you starting to feel that your man has changed... Read More

How to Get Over a Breakup

This is one of the most difficult parts of a... Read More

Can This Relationship Be Helped?

I have been counseling couples for 35 years. Quite often... Read More

Let Kissing Liven Up Your Meetings (and More Kissing Tips)

Every now and then a quarrel breaks out down at... Read More

Zen And Romance

The art of romance and the art of Zen are... Read More

Coping with Your Difficulties in Yourself

Ashleigh Brillant once said""Coping with difficult people is always a... Read More

Relationship Advice: Starter Marriages

A man walking through the woods near a river hears... Read More

Are Women From Utopia And Men From Wal-Mart?

It is surprising how many writers, psychologists, or scientists have... Read More

Relationship Advice: 10 Ways to Prevent a Break Up

The question I am asked most often is: I think... Read More

Great Relationships: How to Get the Spark Back

Losing the spark - simply, if you will, falling out... Read More

The Revenge Affair: Characteristics of the Adulterer

"I Want to Get Back at Him/Her" is one of... Read More

How realistic are we?

So often when we think of our ideal mate we... Read More

Reading Each Others Mind

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard... Read More

Relationship Red Flags Do Appear Early On

So often in the bloom of a new romance we... Read More

Relationship Advice - How to Get Out and Stay Out of Relationships Ruts

"The only difference between a rut and a grave are... Read More

Recharging Your Relationship

Now you may ask why we would write an article... Read More

For Soul Mates: Will you grow or stagnate? Divine Source through Barbara Rose

Some soul mate couples refuse to grow. They refuse to... Read More

Diamond Promise Rings ? For When You Mean It

Diamond promise rings are quite common, but many are not... Read More