Relationship Conflict: Lock Horns or Lock Arms

One of my favorite comic strips growing up was "The Lockhorns." Not so much because it particularly funny (although it was), but because it seemed like a great model for how not to do love relationships.

It was not until recently when someone mentioned the phrase "lock horns or lock arms" did I realize what the title of the comic strip really meant. What occurred to me, besides the fact that I can be a little slow sometimes, is that in love relationships, we always have the choice to either lock horns or lock arms.

Let's take a quick look at how to lock horns, and then some tips for locking arms that you can take home and use.

How to Lock Horns

=>Turn your relationship into a competition and keep score.

=>Make being right the most important goal in any discussion.

=>Take the Sinatra approach: "I did it my way" - be inflexible.

=>Regularly bring up offenses of the past. Often and in detail.

=>Always fight for the absolute correctness of your perception of things and never make room for your partner's perception.

=>put your self first - make sure your needs always get met, at whatever cost.

How to Lock Arms

Learning to lock arms involves making a commitment to choosing one person and making it work. A fairly radical notion in our divorce prone culture.

=>Create a relationship vision. Most couples spend more time planning a two week vacation than they do considering how they would like their relationship to be. Which leads to the question................

=>If we could design this relationship any way we wanted it to be, and we knew we couldn't fail, how would we like it to be?

=>Design a relationship that is a "safe-place." Not just safe from physical or emotional abuse, although of course that is crucial. What I mean is create an environment where it is safe to be your self, feel and think what you feel and think, with room to grow as a person.

=>Make an ongoing, lifetime commitment to do two things:

1)As much as humanly possible, understand a totally different gender than your own. Not better or worse, just radically different. And,

2)Completely understanding one other person. Part of locking arms is the commitment to work at totally understanding one other person in life. Not always an easy thing to do, but consider how good it could feel to be completely understood by someone.

=>Remember that relationship conflict is inevitable. Fighting is optional. It is always a choice.

=>Learn to look at the world through the eyes of your partner. You don't have to agree with how they see things, or even understand it completely. You do need to be able to see through their eyes.

=>Form a partnership that uses each of your own unique skills to the fullest.

The other thing I remember about "The Lockhorns" comic strip was that neither one of them appeared to be very happy with the arrangement. Maybe I'll start a comic strip called "The Lockarms." In the meantime, carry with you the simple reminder "lock horns or lock arms", and see how conflict will go down and your relationship will improve.

Leading relationship expert Jeff Herring is a Relationship Coach, Speaker, and Nationally Syndicated Relationship columnist.

You can read more practical tips, common sense relationship advice and occasional humor at his website SecretsofGreatRelationships.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

Psychology Today (blog)

7 Characteristics of Resilient Relationships
Psychology Today (blog)
Did you ever wonder why some relationships endure even in the most stressful of times, while others are destroyed? Are there certain factors that seem to characterize strong, enduring, and resilient relationships? There are no easy answers to why some ...


HuffPost

12 Questions People In Polyamorous Relationships Are Sick Of Hearing
HuffPost
“Most polyamorous relationships aren't made up of a hierarchy of 'primary' relationships and 'secondary' relationships. Many polyamorous folks, like myself, have deeply honest relationships with their loved ones that are based on what they actually ...


The Good Men Project (blog)

The Practice of Relationship
The Good Men Project (blog)
Don't like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free. So many relationships end because of a lack of intimacy. So many relationships end because the love seems to fade and disappear. So many relationships end because we stop ...

and more »

2020 Census will ask about same-sex relationships
AL.com
For the first time, U.S. Census will allow respondents to specify they are part of a same-sex couple. NBC News reported on the change based on documents submitted to Congress by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2020 census will expand the responses related ...

and more »

Dotted Line: Cultivating bid-winning relationships with public agencies
Construction Dive
Contractors that take the time to build relationships early on, she said, have the opportunity to let potential public partners know what kind of unique value proposition they can offer. And sometimes nothing is a satisfactory replacement for face time ...


CBS17.com

Proposed policy bans relationships between Duke undergrads, faculty
CBS17.com
DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - If a new Duke University policy passes, students will have to make sure their lust for learning doesn't include their professors. “It could help make campus a little safer for students,” said John Malik, a graduate student at Duke ...


It's All About the Relationships
Modern Distribution Management (blog)
It wasn't that long ago that the personal relationship your outside salesperson had with customers and suppliers was the dominant driver of the business. I've heard or said, “This business is all about relationships” hundreds of times in my ...


Health.com

The Rock Plus 8 Celebrity Dads Who Have Crazy Adorable Relationships With Their Kids
Health.com
These famous fathers are melting our hearts thanks to their sweet social media tributes to their children. Anthea Levi. April 24, 2018. In case you missed it, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson basically melted hearts around the world yesterday when he shared a ...

and more »

AdAge.com

Nestle evaluating North America agency relationships
AdAge.com
The source added the departure of WPP CEO Martin Sorrell would likely have implications, since he had a strong relationship with the client. Nestlé USA markets brands including DiGiorno, Haagen-Dazs, Lean Cuisine and Stouffer's. News of the potential ...

and more »

Financial Times

University reputations risk being tarnished by business links
Financial Times
Business benefits from unblemished academic rigour. The social sciences, under fire for influential studies that cannot be replicated, would benefit from real-world testing. The mutual benefit of clear guidance in these relationships is clear ...

Google News

Are Men and Women Really from Different Planets?

Are men really from Mars, and women from Venus?'what women... Read More

Are You Fit To Love?

is the most important question you'll ever ask yourself. Let's... Read More

Extramarital Affairs: What Everyone Needs to Know and What You Can Do to Help

Recent statistics suggest that 40% of women (and that number... Read More

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It's one of the ways you can spot a woman... Read More

Setting Boundaries: Business Clients and Boyfriends

Setting boundaries is necessary in any human relationship.Whether you're dealing... Read More

Live Like You Were Dying: Help for Overcoming an Affair

In the recovery phase of my husbands last affair I... Read More

Relationships that Work: How to Get Along with People Who Drive You Crazy

Question: What % of your bad moods at work are... Read More

Infidelity: Difference Between a Rage and Revenge Affair

The fifth affair I outline in my book, "Break Free... Read More

Office Nomance

Are Office Romance's really that bad? The answer is ?..it... Read More

The 7 Stages of a Romantic Relationship

There are seven stages in a romantic relationship: avoidance, meeting,... Read More

Relationship Advice: Grieving Before Going On

Q. I got married for the first time when I... Read More

Why Its Good To Be Alone

Have you noticed that there's an ebb and flow to... Read More

Great Relationship Advice: How to Get ?All A?s? in Couples Communication

Mark Twain once said that he believed it was "God's... Read More

Ending Relationships Gracefully

In my counseling practice, I often hear the question, "How... Read More

Players: How to Deal with Them

Eventually, we'll all either play or be played. I'd like... Read More

A Dream of the Perfect Partner

Your dream is so beautiful and it is never to... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 2

Troll Detection Made EasyDue to their overwhelming lack of social... Read More

How to Get a Woman to Treat You the Way You Deserve

You know the scenario. You start dating a woman. After... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 3

Liar, Liar! Pants On Fire!Today, you'll learn about 2 yellow-flag... Read More

Your Beloved Soldier Is Coming Home ? Now What?

Your Beloved Soldier Is Coming Home ? Now What?Laura anxiously... Read More

My Broken Heart

I guess my soulmate wasn't all he was cracked up... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 1

Subtitle ? A Troll? What the **** is that and... Read More

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen After Wife Gets MBA

"Hesh, where is your business plan?" It was a question... Read More

How to Find Out If Your Wife or Girlfriend Is Cheating On You

What drives a woman to cheat may look a lot... Read More

10 Clues of an Online Affair

1. Your spouse or partner spends excess time on-line. Who... Read More