Updated: Jun 22
How long have you been with your partner?
Whether it’s been ten years or ten days, it doesn't matter - we all come to blows from time to time when a seemingly small issue explodes into a massive argument.
Most of us would prefer to avoid arguing altogether.
However, if you handle it right, conflict can be useful for both you and your partner, helping the two of you to grow and learn how to solve your problems together.
Wondering what strategies you can use to deal with conflict?
Read on to find out.
“Why Are We Always Fighting?”
Whether you argue about money, sex, or family, it’s easy for things to turn real ugly, real fast.
On the flipside, it is also possible to create strong emotional bonds and a secure physical connection with your partner through these conflicts.
In relationships, most arguments stem from differing values.
That doesn’t mean you’re not compatible. You just need to change how you approach and think about conflict in your relationship.
So, where to begin?
What’s Your Preferred Conflict Style?
Imagine you’re at the supermarket, heading to the self-checkout counter. You patiently wait your turn, but just as you’re about to take it, someone walks right past you and jumps in front.
What's your immediate response?
"Hey, are you blind? There's a line here!"
"Uh… I would say something, but he's probably in a hurry, and I've only got a few items anyway, so it's okay."
"Oh, maybe that line goes to those three counters... I must be in a different line."
We are all capable of using any one of these three conflict styles.
Your preferred style has a lot to do with how you were raised.
In fact, how you deal with prickly situations is usually based on how you saw your parents respond to conflict.
While you replicate what your parents did, your partner might be wired to respond differently.
For many couples, when it comes to their preferred conflict style, the old saying “opposites attract” rings true.
Most couples tend to be mismatched; one is volatile, while the other is avoidant or a validator.
As a result, silly disagreements have a tendency to become monumental rows.
Your Conflict Style and Its Impact
Knowing and understanding your conflict style can help you and your partner talk about your differences and stop acting them out.
Your preferred conflict style is permanent. It can bend, but it isn't easy to break.
If your conflict style is volatile, you may be able to sweep the discussion under the rug for later, but your style remains the same.
However, there is an upside to some conflict styles.
Volatile couples have very successful relationships. They have great sex for the duration without having to work at it.
Meanwhile, avoidant couples are good at making long-term plans and accomplishing big goals.
Since 2007, we've worked with over 3,000 gay couples. In 2017, we became the first to publish our results in a scientific journal.
During this time, we made a revolutionary discovery; our relationship tools are two-and-a-half times more effective at helping gay and lesbian couples improve their relationships compared to the general population.
You and your partner can break the cycle of “little problem, big drama.” Learn how to use your conflict style to your advantage by reaching out to us.