It’s time to get off the carousel
Are you just sick and tired of fighting with your partner about the same issues over and over again? When you argue, do the battle lines get drawn with the two of you ending up on opposite sides?
The sad reality is, every day countless couples are living this personal nightmare with no end in sight. Both are adamant their position is right, while the emotional gulf between them grows larger and larger.
How can love and intimacy possibly grow under the stifling cloud of hurt, bitterness, and resentment these clashes create?
When old conflicts arise in your relationship and threaten to start World War III, you both need to make a commitment to re-write the script. Now is the time to choose strategies which will allow you to stop reacting defensively and start listening to each other.
It is possible to find common ground in order to create an atmosphere of respectful love, but it is going to take determination and serious intent from you both. The following three strategies can help:
When most people argue, they either are talking or preparing to respond to what is being said. Very rarely are they listening. Mirroring is a technique that encourages active listening by asking: “Am I hearing you correctly when you said …?”
Asking this question forces you to pay attention to what your partner is actually saying. This technique alone can help determine what is really at the root of most conflicts.
Once you have determined exactly what feelings your partner is trying to convey, it is important to acknowledge their validity. This validation must come from a place of sincere understanding and compassion. Doing so helps to reinforce an atmosphere of emotional security and trust in the relationship.
Last, but most definitely not least, is empathy. Empathy is simply putting yourself in your partner’s shoes. Admittedly, this sounds cliche, but many individuals find this strategy the most difficult because it requires the ego to be temporarily set aside.
You must step outside the context of “I’m right, you’re wrong!” in order to make a sincere attempt to view your relationship through your partner’s eyes. By having the guts to do so, your relationship will receive many healthy emotional dividends.
Being empathetic creates a fertile ground for greater intimacy to grow by fostering more compassion and understanding. These are key ingredients to keeping love strong and vibrant over the years.
Finally, rest assured you can confront and put to rest those nagging issues you have fought over time and time again. It just takes the love, intention, and commitment to do so.
Best of luck to you.
Do you feel the strategies you use to resolve conflict in your relationship are effective? Please share your feelings with the community by commenting below.