All relationships include challenges and conflicts: any time you’ve got more than one person involved in something there’s an increased likelihood that there will be an issue of one kind or another. Challenges can make you stronger, both individually and as a couple, it’s good to work through them and to have a second perspective on things, otherwise the world would still be flat. But I know you’re thinking about all the times that challenges have hurt you or your relationship, and that’s very true, they can hurt you. Conflicts and challenges kill you and your relationship when that’s all there is, when both of you are trying to “be the boss,” or when the conflicts or challenges are intentionally stirred up or encouraged and not approached by both of you with the intention of resolving them.
Sometimes relationships can be very painful, even if they’re really good ones. However, you can do some serious damage, permanent damage, to a relationship, even a good one, if you let the problems and the pain stick around. In a healthy, happy relationship conflicts and challenges shouldn’t be used as tools to divide you, to get the kids on someone’s side, or to hurt the other person. But things don’t have to stay in conflict, it’s up to you, both of you, to choose to be done with the conflict and move on after you’ve discussed it and resolution or next steps.
Challenges and conflicts can cause some temporary hurt or discomfort, which will require conversation and healing time, and that’s part of the human and relational experience. And the longer you’re with someone the more likely that you’ll do something to hurt them, even if it’s accidental. If you’re in conflict all the time though I think you need to reevaluate your relationship. Some conflict is normal, conflict all the time is not healthy. I encourage you to talk with your partner this week about how you can do better with your conflict resolution and have a healthier and happier relationship.
“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” Wayne Dyer