Healthy Relationship Conflict

Part 2 of 11

“10 Ways to be Real in Spite of Conflict”

Realize that resolving relationship conflict is healthy and necessary for growth.

Let’s clarify that. The key word is “resolving conflict” where both parties feel heard, understood, and valued. Resolving relationship conflict does not mean power and control over another. If you’re continually giving in to keep the peace, or if you’re sacrificing your own principles and values, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

So what’s an unhealthy relationship? I’m glad you asked. Think of healthy or unhealthy as any point on a continuum. Remember geometry class where you learned that a straight horizontal line goes on and on in either direction? That’s what I’m referring to.

In the healthy direction, both parties respect the otherness of the other. They value each other’s opinions. They have positive regard for each other. They are on the same team. They are partners. They are curious about each other’s differences. They hold their differences as opening up their own perspectives. Yeah! Does that sound real or not?

Here’s my definition of an unhealthy relationship.

On the continuum line, you’re heading in the direction of seeing each other as inconsiderate, domineering, selfish, demanding, and disrespectful. In extreme cases the relationship is considered poisonous. One partner may take all the blame while the other soaks up grandiose beliefs about himself/herself. If this is the case for your relationship, these next few blog posts may not work at all other than to align you with awareness that your relationship needs help beyond these ideas. Seek out a licensed professional counselor who specializes in relationships as soon as possible.

For those who are willing to grow together and change the partnership dance of conflict here’s a foundation for your thoughts that will make the other nine steps happen. Realize that your journey and growth as a human being depends on allowing your husband or wife influence you and broaden your perspective.

We all have blind spots in our personalities.

Our spouse is the one who sees the good, bad and ugly of our lives. We can either write them off by disregarding their perspective, or we can find an element of truth and be open to our own need for awareness and growth.

Examples of writing off your spouse may be some of the following:

  1. He’s just depressed and sees everything negative.
  2. She has bipolar disorder and over-reacts anyway.
  3. It’s because of how he grew up that’s skewed his viewpoint of me.
  4. There’s nothing I can do that makes her happy no matter how hard I try.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar? You may be very right in your assessment, yet it may be their issues that God is using in your life to refine and grow you into living your life fully. In other words, your spouse along with their issues may be exactly what you need to grow your character. It may not be possible with anyone other than your own spouse and their issues.

Tune in to the next blog post as we address our 2nd of 10 ways to be real in spite of conflict. Our next post is how to be curious about differences rather than demand, judge, or criticize differences.

I’d love to hear your comments! Post below any other “excuses” out there. Let me know what you think of this post!