Rather than seeing conflict as part of growing the relationship, we tend to blame the person with whom we’re in conflict. “If he wouldn’t _____, then I wouldn’t ______. If she would just _____, then we’d be happy.”
Blame, not conflict, is relationship cancer. Conflict is just the vehicle sent to deliver an opportunity for growth. (Sometimes I hate knowing this!)
There are relationships where conflict is so extreme and abusive, or the partner’s habits so hurtful without any hope of change, that growing means you finally say, “I’m not willing to stay in this relationship.” There are some marriages that are so soul-killing that they must be abandoned.
It is my belief, however, that the vast majority of conflicted marriages are capable of growing into the “happily ever after” of your dreams. The difference between the troubled marriages that end, and the troubled marriages that go the distance to fulfill the dream, is the willingness of one or, preferably, both partners to grow.
Growing means you are willing to look at what behaviors or attitudes you are contributing to the conflict. Growing means you actively search for help to learn new skills, develop new points of view, that make space in the relationship for positive change.
James and Kim are such a couple. Kim was on the brink of calling it quits. She agreed to come with James to work with me for a “last ditch effort” to see if the marriage could be salvaged.
They evaluated their ways of speaking to each other, finding many fed the smoldering fire of resentment. They began practicing more respectful ways of speaking.
They began to really listen to what the other was saying…not just the thoughts, but feelings, concerns and desires. They incorporated a skill that made sure they were hearing each other accurately, avoiding misunderstandings. They learned to address conflict openly but respectfully, speaking and listening until both were understood and a solution could be adopted.
Today they are moving closer and closer to the dream that falling in love promised. Now there is no danger of this marriage failing. Why in the world would either leave a relationship that is bringing such joy and pleasure to both partners? NO WAY!
The debilitating conflicts you are experiencing can be transformed into the peace and loving enjoyed by James and Kim. Call me to start the transformation! https;//meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy
P.S. Could there really be a positive purpose for Conflict? Click Here to Find Out!