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Why Conflict Can Be Healthy for Your Relationship, & How to Engage in it Successfully

When you first started dating, you were inseparable. It’s like you were each other’s perfect match. The milk to your cookie. The peanut butter to your jelly. You found the perfect puzzle piece to fit what was missing in your life. Everyone told you that the honeymoon phase would eventually pass, but you didn’t want to believe them. You couldn’t at the time, even if you tried.

But here you are, and it’s hard for you to admit that the honeymoon phase did, in fact, pass. You’re starting to notice more little disagreements with your partner here and there when you used to agree on anything and everything. When you fight with your partner, it’s hard not to be upset. You don’t enjoy fighting with them. And sometimes the fights leave you feeling like you’re not good for one another.

Here’s why conflict can actually be healthy for your relationship and how to engage in it successfully.

Improve Your Communication Skills

Conflict is often seen as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Fighting with your partner shows how much you care about one another and your relationship. Fighting doesn’t always have to mean that the relationship is over. A lot of fighting can occur due to a simple miscommunication or feeling that someone’s needs or wants aren’t being met. Conflict is a great way to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page. Use it to your advantage.

Helps Set Boundaries and Trust

Another way that conflict can be healthy in relationships is that it helps to set boundaries. For example, you noticed that you and your partner are arguing over chores like taking out the trash or washing the dishes. One partner may have an idea in mind that they’ve been putting in more effort compared to their partner, but they may not even realize the work being done behind the scenes when they aren’t home. It may be a good time to have a conversation about your roles and responsibilities within your household. Having these conversations can help to set the boundaries you have for one another and your relationship.

Increasing Understanding

When you have a better understanding of what your partner wants and needs, you’re able to connect with them deeper on all levels, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. In order to get to a deeper connection, you may have to fight it out to better understand one another. Conflict allows you to be open and honest with your partner. Don’t run away from conflict just because it’s something that seems scary. It could lead to bigger and better things within your relationship.

How to Engage in Conflict Successfully

Fighting with your partner may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. There are things that you can do to ensure that you’re trying to come to a mutual resolution together instead of fighting to win. Here are some of the ways you can ensure you’re engaging in conflict with your partner successfully.

  • Use “I feel” statements
  • Don’t play the blame game
  • Take breaks when necessary
  • Turn off all distractions
  • Listen just as much as you speak
  • Take turns
  • Don’t get defensive

Next Steps

If you’re still a little hesitant about conflict in your relationship, it’s okay. You’re definitely not alone. It can be hard to accept or even learn to welcome something like conflict. Conflict doesn’t have to be something that’s negative. Think of it more as an opportunity to improve your relationship.

If you need a little extra help, reach out to us today to set up a consultation for couples therapy.

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