Dealing With Conflict Within Relationships

November 20, 2020

Hendrien v.d Bijl

Dealing With Conflict Within Relationships

“Healthy adults talk about problems. We look for solutions. When people hurt us, we communicate with compassion, directly and tactfully. We understand that no connection will last if people hold in all their anger, pain and misunderstandings” -Sylvester Mcnutt III

Did you know that avoiding conflict within relationships is also a way of increasing conflict? That saying “I am someone who handles conflict well because as soon as it comes up I remove myself from it” is not a sign of managing conflict effectively. Avoiding conflict can be just as painful for your partner as overreacting to it.

To experience conflict is normal in any relationship. Conflict arises in places where we differ from our partners. And the places where we differ from our partners are often also linked to the places where we received painful messages as a child. As a result, these messages led us to have to make decisions about what part of us is acceptable to express and what parts are not. What is sad about this is that in other words, it means that where you are sitting now, you already gave up many different parts of yourself just in order to be loved by those around you. That at this moment we are actually not the full human being we were supposed to be.

Now the good news is that love is not interested in keeping you only half alive or to keep you in a place where you feel like you are only allowed to show up with the parts of you which were/are accepted by those around you. But love is rather interested in finding ways to help you regain your full aliveness and become the whole human being you were meant to be.

How does that work you may ask? A way life helps you get back that life you had to give up for the sake of survival as a child, is by attracting someone who has kept that piece of aliveness you had to give up. With the goal of calling you back to life. For example, if you grew up in a home where your tears were not accepted, you are going to attract someone who is very emotional. If your voice was not welcomed where you grew up, you are going to attract someone who talks a lot and uses their voice in every way possible.

You can then just imagine that if such different people come together, that after a while unfortunately it does not quite feel like an invitation to come back to life when we are so different from our partners, but it actually becomes very painful when we are that different. Because one of you might feel like you have to go out and explore the world, and the other one is quite content to just stay home. One of you may feel that having a good laugh and finding the positive in every day is very important, where the other one may feel that life is very serious and there is not much to be happy about right now. It is these differences that can lead to experiencing conflict in our relationships.

So, what we see is that just walking away from conflicting situations, or going out of your way just to avoid conflict is not a healthy way of dealing with conflict. Avoiding it does not bring you back to your full aliveness yet. To pretend it does not exist, you miss out on an important calling back to life. If you are able to learn the right tools and skills on how to handle conflict effectively in your relationship, instead of ignoring it, but rather work with it in a way that invites the both of you to stay connected in the space in order to come to learn where this conflict originates from, then you will be amazed about what you can learn from each other. And if you can work with conflict from the core and not just focus on how you are going to reduce its symptoms, a deep transformation can take place which is a result will help both of you to regain a piece of aliveness you were not even aware of was missing.

Being alive is a place where you can laugh together again and enjoy life. Where it is easier to see the positive in each other and would like to explore the world, hand in hand. Where life starts to show up spontaneously and where you both feel safe enough to show up with all of who you are.

To avoid conflict, you miss out on life’s natural way of calling you back to be the best you can be, with your partner.

If you would like to hear more about this, about how you and your partner’s conflict is not something to avoid or sweep under the rug, but how it can rather be seen as one of the most important invitations that can help you to get back your full aliveness, contact us today to book your place so we can support you in this journey back to life with each other.

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