How Conflict Can be the Key to a Lasting Relationship
I’m convinced that where relationships are concerned, how you deal with conflicts almost matters more than how compatible you are. I’d argue that… you should argue, that is, if you want to know what your relationship is made of. How you and your partner deal with each other when in conflict will be very telling.
In the heat of the moment “the gloves are off” so to speak, and everything said will be uncensored, unfiltered and raw. That’s when you’ll have to ask yourself, can I handle how my partner fights?
Are the two of you similar? Maybe too similar? Are you both so hotheaded that you are unable to hear each other, literally, as you shout over each other? Or are you both avoidant and unexpressive? With no real communication happening in either scenario, neither is good.
If the two of you express anger completely differently, that could also be a big problem. Imagine a scenario in which one partner is much more verbally expressive, engaging in name-calling, and saying hurtful things, while the other is withdrawn, and unexpressive.
In the thick of it, it may be hard to avoid name-calling or hurtful language. But when that happens, are either of you able to step back, self-reflect and to be receptive to the other person’s perspective? Are you able to not react by feeling defensive or going on the offensive? Does your partner fairly take responsibility for their part in an argument? Can you do the same? Are the two of you able to diffuse the situation? And when all’s said and done, do you still have mutual respect for each other? Do you feel respected or disrespected?
From the outset a couple should not view each other as adversaries, who are trying to tear each other down, but as allies who are trying to support each other. If you are able to work through conflict, and to find common ground, you’ll feel like you are on the same team. There's strength in mutual understanding and united purpose.
It’s important be able to weather the conflicts that arise in your relationship.
Conflicts are bound to happen. We are all human, and have our own unique set of experiences and perspectives. Compatibility won’t count for much if you can’t resolve your conflicts constructively. How you handle conflict is what will sustain the relationship over time. Being able to work through conflict could arguably (pun intended) be the strongest part of your relationship.