Understanding Conflicts in Your Relationship

Mere bonding does not form the basis for love. It involves a lot more. This is one reason why we can conclude that healthy relationships are not conflict free but are conflict resolving. The tongue and the teeth, though occupants in the same room still conflict. The problem with conflict most times is that we fight for victories instead of fighting for solutions and in the end, one wins while the other loses. In this case, a relationship suffers. On the other hand, if we conflict for solutions and not victories, we build each other in the long run.

For the psychologist, he may prescribe a million conflict handling lifestyles. For another, there may be no better means to play out a conflict, or no best roles to take. There may also be no blames to share or guilt to pour. However, here are a few things to note about the nature of conflicts and how to end them positively.

Firstly, note that Differences and Conflicts are Inevitable- The average relationship difference brings many people together. This makes conflicts a norm in our daily lives. All relationships experience them too because they are potentially beneficial to the conflicting parties and can grow great relationships if handled properly. Conflicts should therefore be seen and approached as a normality to optimise the better possibilities they contain.

Also, there are many ways to handle conflicts to ensure that everyone wins in the end.

a. The Avoid Style- Individuals in this category ensure that they let sleeping dogs lie. They are usually afraid of confrontation, especially when the other partner is hot tempered and loud in actions. Unfortunately, they do not understand that they merely bury these feelings only for them to rise up alive along the line. Offences accumulate,unfinished businesses erupt and unaddressed issues multiply. These in turn rocks the relationship and tears it apart, usually leaving physical and emotional casualties.

b. The Approach-Assert Style- Here, the individual is basically concerned with the overall goodwill of the relationship. As such, he feels that no price is high too sustain a relationship. Usually, they are very sensitive to the feelings of others while they choose to still deal directly with burning and important issues. They avoid blaming, confront the issue and not the individual, and  may invite others (a third party, usually their joint mentor) to partner with them in solving the conflict issue.

c. The Attack Style- These are the "pepper them gang" who follow the trend of "get them before they get you" mentality in relationships. As a result, they never choose to give in and inflict terminal injury on their minds. Also, attack usually begets counterattack, so both sides dig in and none gets something tangible out in the end.

d. The Peace Maker Style: The final style is for those who will try to make sure no conflict/argument arise. They fight so that nothing scatters. However, in the case it does not work according to their plan, they are usually first to say the I am sorry words. When scriptures mention... Blessed are the peace makers.... You find them here... They are similar to the second category.

To dwell on the Peace makers, the only problem is the fact that many people have abused the use of "sorry" such that they use it and expect a quick response from the people we say it to. In cases like this, you find out that people could file multiple allegations against their partners (or other people they have offended and hurt) and they expect them to let go because they have "said sorry". Here, you understand that there is a huge difference between being sorry and saying sorry.

It is better to be sorry than to say sorry and it is okay to keep quiet if you are not sorry than to utter the word and keep up with the same actions that hurt other people. It helps you learn to value other people's feelings and not place premium on only your feelings. The world cannot thrive with only you in it and you definitely need to place value on people around you because they make life enjoyable. Placing value on people in this case includes respecting them not by kneeling or prostrating to greet them but by respecting their core values that makes them who they are.

It is wrong to align with unforgiveness and emotional manipulation in a relationship. If any partner has these thoughts at heart, it will be almost impossible to understand and resolve conflicts. As an individual, you must be able to stand for whatsoever you have done, whether good or bad. You must take responsibility and make amends in the case where you need to. Making mistakes is a constant part of our lives and partners must  learn to habdle their mistakea without blaming or manipulating each other for it. Learning from mistakes is a conscious effort to living responsibly and being at peace with all men - Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14

Partners should also consciously groom their minds to move on from any form of hurt by each other without necessarily expecting them to come crying and apologise or say sorry. Doing this is safe for your mental health and well being and in the worst case scenerio of a heartbreak (as in our articles on managing a heartbreak and moving on from your ex), you can properly manage it. 

You should also learn to draw the line to avoid a bigger outburst of emotions that both parties will never recover from. No matter how close you are to anybody, there is a thin line of RESPECT that must never be crossed. In our article on who deserves respect the most in a relationship, we discussed the true definitions of respect but sadly, respect is defined by actions (especially in this side of the world) like calling people with titles, kneeling or prostrating to greet and similar actions. While these things may matter in minute ways, the way you treat people whether or not you need anything from them is what matters most. Also, true respect includes that you do not treat people based on the favour or material value you get from them today. Everyone deserves to be adequately respected. At the same time, give people space when you find them disrespecting you. In most cases, these people come to emotionally blackmail you and make you feel guilty instead of accepting that they made a mistake and are willing to correct it. 

Finally, accepting a mistake instead of blaming anyone (even the devil) requires a level of emotional maturity. "Saying sorry" does not get into the heart of the kindhearted but "being truly sorry" can break and pierce the toughhearted.

Above all, resolving conflicts in any relationship is a thing more spiritual than physical. We should be conscious of the fact that the enemy never wants joy, so he births strife among men. Psychology can only explain, and at most, link them to temperaments. But a lasting solution to arguments and conflicts lies in prayer and a constant "walk in the spirit"

All you may need to avert a terrible argument could be to send a text at the right time, or to give a better response to a question.... Just something little.

Galatians 5:14-1514: For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15: If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.



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