No one likes arguments. We don’t like confrontation, we don’t like the stress, and we don’t like being upset with our partners. In an ideal world, we would always get along in the most happy and fulfilling of ways. But no couple is without some conflict. There are heated discussions, setbacks, and disagreements that are going to lead to frustrations and potentially anger.
Yet, one thing that we need to emphasize for couples is that discussions are not inherently without value. While it would be wonderful if our relationships had little to no conflict, the truth is that conflict is one way that we learn more about our relationships and ourselves.
Exploring Needs, Emotions, and Our Behaviors
Conflict may be upsetting at the time of the argument. But in the long term, what conflict *can* do is help prevent future problems. Disagreements with your partner are, especially when the emotions subside, opportunities to figure out what you both can do to enhance the relationship, what may be lacking between yourself and your partner, and what you can work on together to continue the relationship forward.
Without conflict, there is often little to no resolution that helps you better understand where your problems lie and what you can do to fix them. Worse than conflict is having issues that affect your marriage that you’re holding deep inside and refusing to address. That is why we need to reframe the way we see conflict.
Rather than see conflict as a problem in the relationship, we should look at them as an opportunity to help your relationship grow. You can learn from:
- The needs and emotions being expressed.
- The pain that one or both partners feel.
- The way that you argue and what can be done/said differently.
It’s an opportunity to work through challenges and figure out what you need in order to grow the relationship more and strengthen it.
Rethinking How We View Conflict
Conflict isn’t fun. But we also shouldn’t necessarily see it as “bad.” If we consider it an opportunity to learn, change, and evolve as a couple, then conflict may actually be valuable. We just need to first change the way that we see conflict and find ways to use that conflict for ourselves as individuals and as a couple. If you feel like you’re arguing too often with your partner and you feel stuck in the way you’re handling conflict, contact Long Island Psychology, today.