Relationship Conflict Resolution: What Couples Need to Know

All relationships will have some level of conflict at some point or another. The key is to have healthy relationship conflict resolution skills and habits in place so it does not become a bigger issue later on. There are many reasons why you may experience conflict in your relationship, including differing parenting philosophies, financial habits, religious beliefs, dreams for the future, and overall needs in a relationship. 

Even when couples say they do not argue, it can be deceiving as it may mean there are underlying issues that are not being addressed for fear of having conflict or rocking the boat. There should be a healthy amount of conflict in relationships where both parties can feel comfortable to express their concerns, no matter how big or small. With effective relationship conflict resolution, you will not focus on finding who is right or wrong, but instead focus on how to resolve the overall issue. There are some methods you can implement yourself and some you can introduce with the help of your counselor. 

Relationship Conflict Resolution

Four Damaging Behaviors

Four behaviors have often led couples to separation or divorce if not properly addressed. The first is criticism. Instead of facing the issue head-on, we use criticism of the other person to deal with it. This is a personal attack that can be more hurtful than helpful and can be a sign of a shutdown of communication within the relationship. 

The second behavior is defensiveness and is often linked to criticism. Getting over-defensive can make the situation worse and is a way to avoid taking responsibility. 

Third on the list is contempt, which can be especially toxic in a relationship. Belittling and making fun of your partner can even be considered psychological abuse. This is also one of the most significant contributors to divorce. 

Our final damaging behavior is stonewalling, when one partner completely withdraws and does not allow for a discussion to even happen. This emotional disconnect can signify something more profound and can be difficult to face during relationship conflict resolution. If only one partner is willing to work through the conflict, it can be near impossible for the relationship to get through the conflict. 

Relationship Conflict Resolution Strategies

There are several strategies to use during relationship conflict resolution. The first tip is to avoid using the four behaviors we previously described. Another strategy is getting to the root of the problem by describing what you feel to each other with as much specificity as possible. Couples often get into a rut of arguing about the same thing every day. This means that the root issue is not being addressed. Having the same fight over and over may be an indicator that there is a difference in your core beliefs and values. The silent treatment is one of the worst strategies to use during conflict. Try to express how you truly feel about each other and get out of the habit of using the silent treatment. 

Schedule an Appointment with Marriage Couples Counseling

Creating effective communication and conflict resolution can be difficult if you do not have the right guidance and strategies in place. Contact the office of Marriage Couples Counseling in New York or call us at 212-673-4618 today to schedule an appointment. We are here to guide you through the most difficult of times.

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    160 Bleecker Street, 9C East, New York, NY 10012
    (212) 673 4618