Some people say that there are no perfect relationships. In every relationship, we all experience miscommunication, which may lead to conflict. We can work on it and avoid these relationship disputes. The goal of resolving conflict in a relationship is not supremacy or defeat. It’s reaching understanding and letting go of our need to be right. You can turn your conflict into connection with the right communication. Here are 10 powerful ways how to resolve conflict in a relationship.
Have in mind that this article is by no means THE definitive guide nor that these are the ONLY 10 ways to resolve issues. These ways were effective in my own relationship and my husband and I worked on it for years. This is somewhat of a testimonial on how my relationship turned into something more than just 2 people being together.
Always show and tell your loved one that you appreciate them. What’s taken for granted will eventually be taken away. Then you end up missing most what you least appreciated. Appreciate what you have before it turns into what you had.
Sometimes I ended up asking myself various questions to see whether saying something can be simplified. How difficult is it to say something like: “I appreciate you for taking care of the dinner tonight.”? Surely it can’t be that hard. This doesn’t boil down to a man being a man or a woman being a woman. It’s simply considering and appreciating even the little things.
It takes a strong person to say sorry, and even a stronger person to forgive. Saying sorry does not always mean that you’re wrong, it just means that you value your relationship more than your ego. There is a big misconception with some people who believe that saying sorry is a sign of weakness. Saying sorry also doesn’t mean that you should ALWAYS be apologetic.
It’s simply showing the fact that you acknowledge the mistake and you are trying to learn from it. The follow-up or the second important part of it is forgiving. Remember, this approach is a two-way street. Both partners should be equally involved and invested in resolution.
The greatest distance between two people is a misunderstanding. A single moment of misunderstanding is incredibly vicious. It can make us forget all the enchanting moments that we’ve spent together in the blink of an eye. Never let the situation mean more than the relationship.
I’ve experienced a great number of misunderstandings in life, whether it was in my own life, or in the lives of people around me. I have also seen relationships, marriages and partnerships crumble just because different people see things from a different perspective.
Don’t take a defensive stance right away. Listen, clarify and even reiterate what others have said. That way, you will be able to avoid that dreaded misunderstanding.
Talking About Issues
Instead of giving your loved one a cold shoulder, consider saying what you think this issue reminded you of. Beware of icy behavior such as pouting, stomping out of the room, or showing a lack of interest in your partner’s emotions.
Talking about issues can bring clarity to a relationship and help you learn how to deal with conflict in a relationship. Be aware of your language though. Just because you are talking about something, doesn’t mean that you should let it out whichever way you feel like it. Do consider your partner’s feelings and try wording your thoughts in a simple, concise and easy to understand manner.
When this is put together the right way, your talk about issues will turn into talk about solutions.
Tell your partner that you fear what you feel. Doesn’t being scared let you know you’re onto something important? Everyone fears being the one who cares too much or loves too much. Therefore, you should tell your partner what it is you are afraid of.
It’s another sensitive topic where some people may feel that expressing fear is a sign of weakness. It is completely understandable that some people get more scared than the others. That’s what makes us human. If you are truly there for your partner, you will help them overcome that fear.
In return, this will elevate your respect for one another and improve your feelings and trust toward your partner.
Speaking Your Mind
What is it you want in your relationship? Let your loved one know. Remember, you may be partners but your thoughts are your own. Your partner cannot read what’s on your mind. Say what you want and be willing to open up.
Removing boundaries by opening up about something can be genuinely helpful. Your relationship can flourish further by expressing your thoughts freely. This way both partners can practice active listening which will result in a more meaningful relationship.
I’ve successfully proved this theory in my own life, with my husband. We took this seriously from the start of our relationship and improved over time. I’m not saying that you can just click right away, but with good effort, it has a huge potential.
Equal Time Advocate
It’s ok to wonder, wisdom begins in it. Tell your loved one what will you learn from your dispute. Be an equal time advocate. Make sure each of you has the same chance to discuss concerns and solutions or ideas about your conflict.
While it may seem impossible to achieve it perfectly, striving to allow equal time for thoughts expression can open up the relationship. Have in mind that some partners are not vocal as much as others. Use patience wisely here. Encourage your partner to take time and think about what they want to say.
This can build trust and help in strengthening the bond between partners in a relationship. If you trust your significant other and allow them time to process information, your life will be further enhanced.
Admit Being Wrong
Admit that you are wrong. Most relationships fail because couples fight with pride more than they work with love. It is better to lose your pride to the one you love than to lose someone you love for your pride. Remember, pride can negatively influence relationships to the point of breaking.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in your own opinion. Consider this: we are all humans. We are prone to mistakes by nature. It doesn’t mean that you and your partner are always wrong. Just look at things from both sides and improve chances of conflict resolution in a relationship.
You can learn so much together. That’s the beauty of a meaningful relationship, growing and flourishing. Being wrong doesn’t mean that you can’t turn it into being right. Wouldn’t it be great to be right together instead of being wrong alone?
Thank the person who makes a difference in your life. Thank your loved one for making you fall in love all over again. Thank him/her for being a part of your journey.
Relationships work with mutual effort and those efforts can be acknowledged with a simple “thank you”. Try not to think of it as overused, generic saying because it may seem that way in the first place. Whatever you say, if it is said with meaning, it can make a world of difference.
Those are just two words, but they can go a long way. My husband and I thank each other every day. It also serves as a reminder that even though we have been together for some time, we still have a sense of thankfulness towards each other.
3 Magical Words
The most important words. If there is a better way of saying or expressing love and affection, please let me know. It’s not because I don’t show and say it often enough, it’s because I want to learn more about love. It’s endless lessons never cease to amaze me. I Love You!
How amazing is that? Imagine the first person in history saying that. Now imagine how far can one go in expressing love. This doesn’t have to be done only with spoken words. It can be a written note, sign language, or any other way you see fit.
Love can move mountains and I was the first-hand witness to that. My husband went out of his way to show me that love transcends everything. We came from two completely different worlds, different cultures, and different upbringings. Yet, we’ve managed to find common language and way to communicate our love for each other.
A word of caution. Don’t drown your partner with love. Love should be practiced gracefully and used gradually. This way, you will build humility and compassion together which will result in everlasting love. I took this saying from my husband as he keeps reminding me of it every day.
Final Thoughts on How to Resolve Conflict in a Relationship
Dialogue is the most effective way of resolving conflict in a relationship. Whenever you’re in conflict and your relationship is at stake, one factor can make the difference. You can either deepen it or mend it.
Show appreciation to your significant other regularly. Don’t be afraid to say sorry. Talk to your partner and avoid misunderstanding and inconvenient situations.
Talking about different things every day can help extend understanding for each other. It is ok to be afraid or scared. Allow your partner to know that and help each other out outgrow fear.
Speaking your mind can help improve active listening and while it takes time to exercise it, the outcome is quite amazing. You can also allow each other enough time to express thoughts meaningfully. Some may take more, some may take less time to speak openly.
There’s nothing wrong in admitting that you’re wrong. Be honest to yourself and to your significant other. While being honest, don’t forget to be thankful too. Simple “thank you” can make a world of difference.
Last but not least, say those 3 magical words as often as you think is needed. I love you!
Enjoy your relationship, nurture it, and watch it grow.