Have you ever noticed that when two people in a relationship are in conflict, they are battling to convince the other person their version of events is right and their partners’ version is wrong?
This can escalate into personal attacks and slurs on a persons character where each person can find themselves in a defensive and counter-attacking cycle.
It is an interesting dynamic and a real battle of will when this interaction happens.
Most of us have experienced this type of event in our lives, but when you really break this down and understand what is really happening, maybe it’s time to change our approach.
A misunderstood conflict, as most are, is highly destructive to a couple’s long-term connection.
It can slowly erode a connection that should be thriving.
To be clear, some conflict is to be expected in all relationships, but it really does matter how that conflict is conducted, so the relationship is protected.
I see far too many people in a cycle of attack and protect, not aware their relationship is dying through this type of interaction.
The bottom line is conflict poorly done will only create a negative attachment pattern that helps one or both people eventually develop a new destructive pattern.
That pattern is – I don’t like how I feel about myself when I’m with you or think about you.
This destructive pattern is created through a combination of factors.
The person doesn’t feel understood or cared about; they may find themselves protecting themselves from their partner.
They can feel unloved, abandoned, unappreciated, the trust can now be questioned, and they may start to feel their partner really doesn’t have their back.
They will then feel they can’t be themselves around their partner, which means that critical need to connect to themselves is only now happening outside their marriage.
They can feel very alone in the marriage.
The compounding negative energy creates a shift in their thinking, “What is the point of this relationship? What is the point of you being in my life”?
After all, shouldn’t a relationship compound what both people value, such as fun, connection, love, joy, rather than compounding pain, upset, fear, disconnect?
Changing the pattern from a need to be right to a win-win model
What’s important at this point is not to conclude the answer is to find a relationship that has no problems because that relationship doesn’t exist.
The solution is being able to disagree in a way that protects the marriage and at the same time doesn’t compromise either person.
You see, when two people are trying to be right, what they are not seeing is this:-
What if they are both right when the situation is viewed from each person’s unique perspective.
Conflict that gets out of hand is an indicator to me that each person is not connected to both perspectives and tells me they can only see their own.
This single point of emotional blindness is a significant problem in any marriage.
The other problem with trying to be right in a conflict is this model sets the couple up to fail.
The failure is there is a winner and a loser.
The problem with one person on the same team losing is the team loses, so both people ultimately suffer.
The team losing, which equals the relationship losing, is what couples are not seeing until it’s too late.
In a relationship, there can only be a winner if they both win, and this is a skill many are unaware they need, so they will suffer through trying to be right.
Unless a couple’s conflict ends with more connection, more love and more security, the couple is doing their conflict wrong and killing their connection in their quest to be right.
Sadly in most cases, it’s a connection they want to keep.
It’s like two people throwing logs on a bonfire and seem to be confused because the fire isn’t going out.
So the battle isn’t with each other as many seem to think.
The battle is understanding what is going on and discovering how each person can add value to that situation.
Take a moment to consider this about your disagreements/conflicts.
Is the meaning I am putting to these situations the same meaning that is in the mind of your partner.
You see unless you understand their meaning too, how do you know how to act or respond?
Most people respond to upset and conflict reactively without thought through outdated patterns usually designed for a different life condition many years before.
These reactive and outdated patterns must change if the relationship is to be protected.
It usually takes about three months for an individual or couple to learn how to convert their destructive patterns into constructive ones.
Many individuals and couples are in my Program right now, making life-altering changes to build safer relationships whilst becoming an effective team.
Conflict, upset disagreement isn’t a sign the marriage is wrong; it’s a sign that there is a passionate energy that could be redirected into more pleasurable activities with the proper knowledge.
These couples in my Programs have chosen to wake up and take back control.
People are joining my programs for a variety of reasons.
- One person is trying to win their partner back.
- Another wants to find out if their marriage is right or wrong for them?
- One lady wants help with choosing the right partner after multiple failed relationships.
- Another couple is suffering sexually through emotional disconnect.
- One gentleman, an alcoholic, is taking steps to save his marriage after his addition tore it apart.
- Another couple love each other but are suffering to connect due to resentment and loss of emotional security.
- One lady wanted help to deal with and overcome her divorce and rebuild her life.
- Another person has been abused as a child resulting in defensive patterns which are stressing her marriage.