Conflict is commonly viewed as something poisonous to a relationship. Squabbles, fights, disagreements are seen as symptoms that there’s something seriously wrong. If you find yourself constantly arguing with your partner, you may wonder if breakup and separation are imminent. But that may not be the case. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. What matters if the type of conflict and how you deal with it.

Conflict is inevitable because however close you may be as a couple, you are two different people each with his or her own world view and character. The spark that led to the initial attraction wanes over time and you see each others’ flaws more clearly. You’re also less inclined to overlook these flaws. The result is an increase in the frequency and intensity of disagreement and criticism, in other words, conflict.

How you deal with this conflict depends on many factors.

Firstly there’s the matter of your individual characters. If you have an easy going disposition, you’re more likely to take conflict in your stride.
Then there’s the strength of your commitment. They say that true love conquers all and the stronger your bond, the more committed you’ll be to finding a way to deal with conflict in a constructive way. Finally, your living environment plays a role. The less the suffer from stress caused by financial worries, for example, the more inclined you’ll be to work together.

One thing to remember is that words can wound. An attack on our ego can elicit responses similar to those of when our life is threatened. The resulting fight or flight response can result in either anger or evasion, both of which lead us away from harmony and real communication. This is why if you’re worried about the constant conflict in your relationship, you should consider relationship counselling. Auckland is home to many qualified professionals who can guide you through exchanges of views in a neutral and controlled environment where you feel safe and supported. Through counseling sessions, you’ll come to realise that objective is not to win the argument but to solve the problem and get your relationship back on track.

Conflict for Growth

Paradoxically, conflict can be positive, particularly when it’s a result of change. Growth cannot happen without change. It can be a wrenching experience but can lead to a more meaningful relationship and a deeper understanding. Without such growth a relationship can wither and die or slip into apathy as so many do. Unfortunately, many couples are unable to see the positive side of conflict. If you’re too close to the action, you just see the conflict and not its positive side. At such times, professional guidance with a counsellor is vital to your future. As a neutral party he can guide you towards mutual understanding.

Sadly, in some cases, conflict can simply be a sign of incompatibility. In such cases, you need to accept you made a mistake and move on. But if you value your partner, you should try couples counselling. In Auckland there are professionals are waiting to help you.  Contact us at the Robert Street Clinic to find out more.