Resolving Conflicts In A Relationship


I remember a scene in an American sitcom where a teenager was embarrassed her parents were openly showing affection for each other. She said “why can’t you two just be like any ordinary couple who nag at each other and quarrel all the time.” The teenager may have said this in a sitcom but, in many cases, this reflects what goes on in many relationships and marriages.

Conflict is a necessary part of any relationship and there are countless things that could bring about disagreements. Whether a quarrel in a relationship was as a result of financial problems, a clash of opinions or disrespect to a partner, the buck always stops with how the two people decide to handle the disagreement. The first few hours after the disagreement is crucial in resolving any conflict, and could make or break the love and affection that people have for each other.

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Communication is key to resolving any conflict, but sometimes we fail to realise talking isn’t the only form of communication. Silence is a non-verbal form of communication that produces great results when tempers flare up. When tempers are at boiling point, talking only makes it worst and results in a loop of insults with partners trying to win the argument. In situations like this, it pays for one of the two people arguing to adopt a sober-minded approach by observing some ‘silence’. Silence devoid of pride or bitterness is capable of taming the most abrasive partner. Remember ‘it takes a bigger man or woman to walk away from a fight.’

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Observing some silence, however, doesn’t mean you won’t communicate with your spouse or partner, you’re simply saying ‘I refuse to carry on with this line of argument but will talk to you about other things until the time is right to re-visit the issue we are arguing about.’ Some people may use silence to punish their partner after a momentary argument, but refusing to talk to ones partner after an argument is cancerous and can breed bitterness and push a once lovely relationship over the cliff.

When you re-visit the issue that caused you to argue, you both will soon realise how silly you acted. Where there is a will to settle differences, you can never go wrong by choosing to observe some silence during a heated argument with your partner. You will walk away from the fight a bigger man or woman.

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