How to Navigate Conflicts and Disagreements in a Relationship

Conflicts and Disagreements in a Relationship?

Conflicts and disagreements in a relationship are expected, however, how you handle them will decide whether you will remain a loving couple, or become distant and resentful.

Disagreements in a Relationship

How to Navigate Disagreements in a relationship

  1. Practice active listening to understand each other’s perspectives.

    • Each person has something important to contribute so be respectful.
    • Conflicts are stressful and sometimes we just want to avoid them altogether but that won’t make them go away.
    • Unresolved conflicts can become bigger issues later so don’t wait too long to clear them up.  
  2. Communicate openly and honestly about the issue at hand.

    • Do hide things from each other or exaggerate the truth.
    • In a mature relationship, you must stand in your truth and deal with it together.
  3. Take turns speaking and avoid interrupting each other.

    • Speaking over each other, or having a lack of patience will not lead to a desirable outcome.
    • Take breaths as you listen to help you control the need to interrupt. 
  4. Avoid blaming and shaming, and focus on the problem, not the person.

    • Blaming and shaming lead to resentment and hurt feelings, which will hinder a loving relationship.
    • Sometimes you may be so hurt or angry that you want to make your partner feel bad but this won’t make you feel better. 
  5. Seek to understand each other’s needs and feelings.

    • The main way to accomplish this is not to be selfish and make everything about you.
  6. Find common ground and identify shared goals.

    • Common ground probably bought the two of you together in the first place, remember that when things are difficult.
  7. Try to see things from your partner’s point of view.

    • Everyone has a perspective and in a relationship, it’s important to listen and be understanding.
  8. Apologize when necessary and accept apologies graciously.

    • It’s mature to admit when you are wrong and to apologize.
    • Apologizing also helps the two of you move forward after a difficult situation.
  9. Practice empathy and compassion.

    • The old saying still applies, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
  10. Be willing to compromise and find a solution that works for both of you.

    • One of the signs that you are in a mature partnership is when the two have the ability to compromise.
  11. Avoid making assumptions and clarify misunderstandings.

    • Using your own interpretations of someone else’s thoughts is a recipe for disaster.
    • If you are not sure what is going on ask for an explanation in a respectable manner.
  12. Be respectful and considerate of each other, even in the heat of the moment.

    • Avoid cussing and name-calling, if you feel the urge ask to table the discussion until you or your partner have calmed down.
    • Being aware of your emotions and yourself will help you know when you need to take a step back. 
  13. Don’t bring up past conflicts in unrelated discussions.

    • If you bring up the past, it can be used to place shame or guilt on the other person and should be avoided.
  14. Seek outside help, such as couples therapy, if necessary.

    • But, couples therapy only works if both people are willing to work on the relationship.
    • A therapist can help you ask the questions you are afraid to ask. 
  15. Take time to cool down before resolving a disagreement.

    • Disagreements in a relationship will happen but you have to know when it’s the right time to discuss it.
    • Avoid trying to resolve an issue when you are both exhausted, sleep deprived, stressed out, and or angry.
  16. Avoid using ultimatums or making unreasonable demands.

    • This method of control rarely works and can cause an unexpected outcome.
  17. Take responsibility for your own actions and emotions.

    • A mature adult owns their truth and admits when he or she is wrong.
  18. Focus on finding a solution, not just winning the argument.

    • Being right in the moment does not fix the problem at hand.
  19. Avoid using hurtful language or attacking each other’s character.

    • I have said this before but it is worth repeating over and over again.
    • Name-calling is very disrespectful, and immature and makes you look bad.
  20. Seek to understand the deeper reason for the conflict and address it directly.

    • Sometimes people do not say things directly due to fear of how the person will react.
    • Or they try to be mean as a defense mechanism, and this behavior will not solve the root cause of the conflict.
    • For example, if your partner is working all the time and you complain that he is never home to help you.
    • But, the real issue may be that you feel neglected and lonely, you’re afraid that he’s working to stay away from you.
  21. Practice forgiveness and letting go of grudges.

    • Forgiveness is more about you than the other person.
    • It fosters inner peace especially when you forgive yourself.
  22. Avoid making major decisions when emotions are running high.

    • If you are upset you are more likely to make an impulsive decision so you can feel better at the moment.
  23. Take breaks if needed, but don’t avoid conflicts indefinitely.

    • If you feel you are too emotional then let your partner know and ask for a break.
    • But inform your partner that you will continue the discussion at a later time.
  24. Avoid using social media or other forms of technology to communicate during a conflict.

    • Be careful when using social media to share personal issues there may be some unforeseen consequences.
  25. Remember that conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, and the goal should be to learn and grow from them.

    • Conflicts are an opportunity to learn more about how your partner thinks and reacts to crises.

Disagreements in a relationship should and will happen but whether you come closer together or further apart determines how you handle conflicts. The above are suggestions to help you navigate the murky waters when dealing with issues that can be deeply rooted in the way another person was raised or from their experiences. So be patient, and try to find common ground to build a foundation of compassionate communication and trust.