Conflict Resolution Strategies for Couples
Conflict is natural, and every couple will experience it at some point in their relationship. The difference between a couple who can navigate this conflict and those who allow conflict to break their bond comes down to proven conflict resolution strategies.
The following are highly effective strategies every couple can use to get to the other side of a conflict lovingly and respectfully:
Create a Safe Space
When an argument begins, how many of us go into it with the intent of “winning” or proving the other person wrong? Having this intention is a recipe for disaster and resentment.
To resolve conflict, you and your partner need to establish respectful rules. These can include:
- No yelling
- No name-calling
- No physical aggression
- No foul language
- No blaming or shaming
Without a safe space to interact, no honest communication can take place.
Validate the Other Person’s Feelings
Resolving conflict requires the validation of both partners’ feelings. When you blame the other or state that they are somehow wrong, they will feel unheard and misunderstood. And arguing from this place will never lead to the resolution of the actual conflict.
Acknowledge your partner’s feelings. Listen fully when they speak. Make eye contact (stay off your phone!). Nod while they are saying. Thank them for sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
When you validate your partner, you will be amazed at how different things go.
Find the Middle-Ground
Conflict resolution ultimately relies on both of you being able to come to a compromise. Find a balance between what both of you want and what you are comfortable with.
Professional counseling may be warranted depending on the root cause of the conflict. A couple most likely can navigate an argument that stems from someone not doing their fair share of chores. But a battle that is rooted in, say, financial trouble or infidelity may warrant professional help.
If you and your partner seem unable to resolve your conflicts on your own and would like to explore treatment options, please contact me. I would be more than happy to discuss how therapy can help.