By: Julie Sekachev, M.Ed, LPC Associate Do you find yourself arguing over money, communication, who will do the chores, jealousy, or how to spend each other’s free time? If so, you are not alone. All happy couples argue about something. However, the key is to develop skills needed to manage conflict effectively. How happy you […]
Do you find yourself arguing over money, communication, who will do the chores, jealousy, or how to spend each other’s free time? If so, you are not alone. All happy couples argue about something. However, the key is to develop skills needed to manage conflict effectively. How happy you are as a couple will depend on how you resolve things you disagree on and how well you understand your partner’s perspective.
What Is Conflict And Can We Resolve It?
Conflict occurs when two parties have a different understanding or position on an important issue. Conflict in marriage is inevitable, and completely normal.
Some common misconceptions about conflict are that it is irreparable, should be avoided, and that it signals that the relationship is doomed to fail. These thinking errors can lead to suppressing our wants and desires in order to avoid an argument, which can be unhealthy and lead to resentment. Conflict can help you understand your partner’s inner world and having the tools to resolve it can help your relationship thrive.
Some Skills In Couples Counseling To Help Resolve Conflict
1. Use A Soft Startup
When conflict arises avoid using “you statements” which can lead to your partner becoming defensive, practice speaking from this formula instead “I feel…about what…I need.” Describe what is happening from your perspective. Listen with the intent to understand, use validating statements to express empathy such as “I get it, I can see why this upsets you” or “that makes sense that you would feel that way.”
2. Take Influence From Each Other
Accepting your partner’s influence can help you build a positive perspective of one another. Practice accepting influence by recognizing that sometimes your partner has good ideas and trying some of them out can help build mutual respect. Take this quiz to see where you stand when it comes to accepting influence from one another:
3. Repair- and De-Escalate
De-escalate heightened emotions and reduce tension. Firstly, you can start by asking your partner questions like “I don’t feel like you understand me right now, let me try again” or “I’m sorry, I can see my part in this.” Remember to pause if things begin to feel overwhelming by asking to take a break and agreeing on a time to return to discussion after you both had a chance to calm down.
4. Dreams Within A Conflict
Conflict can help us understand our partner. Asking the right questions during an argument can lead to a deeper understanding of your partner’s inner world. Learning to recognize and explore your partner’s dreams can help you both move through conflict effectively. For instance, asking your partner questions may help you understand them and the situation better.
Some questions you can ask to gain understanding:
- “Can you tell me why this is important for you?”
- “Does this relate to your background in some way?”
- “What is your need or wish in this situation?”
- “What do you feel about it?”
5. The Art of Compromise
Make a list of your core needs and areas of flexibility, ask your partner to do the same. Help each other understand why your core needs are important to you. Work with your partner to find common ground and compromise on your areas of flexibility. Remember compromise will never feel perfect, the key is that you both feel understood and respected in the process.
Couples Counseling Can Help You Resolve Conflict
Every relationship can benefit from couples counseling. Couples counseling is not just for relationships at the brink of falling apart. Couples therapy can help any partnership that needs help navigating conflict. A skilled couples therapist can guide you in identifying the sources of conflict and help you develop the skills you need to improve your communication!
You can also work on specific goals that will help you and your partner establish patterns of emotional and sexual connection that can improve the overall quality of your relationship. If you are stuck in conflict with your partner and would like help getting unstuck, please give us a call at the Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch. We would love to help you cultivate a happy and meaningful relationship with your partner.
Begin Couples Therapy in Katy, TX
If you are ready to improve your relationship, one of the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide couple’s counseling as well as other services. To begin couples counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to learn more about couples counseling
- Meet with one of our skilled therapists
- Find ways to thrive in your relationship!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including: counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to regularly post blogs. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and our counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!