Conflicts in Relationships

Two different people with different point of views and different upbringing come together as one. They want to look together in the same direction, they want to share the same passions and they want to fulfill a shared dream.

In truth there are no same direction, no same passions and no shared dreams. Many people waste years searching for a partner with these things. They find one and they think this is it. In the end, each person has a vision of how he wants life to be. Do not get me wrong; there may be shared interests and passions in someone you meet – he could love God the same way you do, love sports like you do and so on but there is still that difference in how you approach and look at issues. This is the heart of conflicts in many relationships.

A friend shared his break-up story with me this morning. His girlfriend of a couple of months broke up with him because she felt (in her words) they don’t understand each other and they should both try someone else – if they are meant to be together, it would all work out.  Can someone be that complex that they cannot be understood or is there something else lying at the root of this conflict?

I believe that at the heart of every conflict in a relationship is reluctance to compromise. It could come in different forms – one party compromises all the time and the only time she expects the guy to compromise he doesn’t or both parties are chronically individualistic and would never compromise on anything or both parties have different things they can never shift grounds on and at such points the failure to compromise causes a break down in the relationship.

Yes, there are conflicts that arise from flawed characters that a compromise won’t resolve – cheating, violence, drugs, and alcoholism and so on. Many of these conflicts are grounds for a break-up and should not require compromise.

The conflicts I refer to in this article are the daily arguments and fights over the things like money, chores, dreams, friendship with the opposite sex etc. These conflicts are a staple of many relationships and eventually it would lead to irreparable damage. Each conflict is like a crack in a relationship and if not mended appropriately the crack will propagate to other cracks and lead to a fracture.

Any relationship without conflict is an unrealistic dream. It is a fact of life and an expectation. However, it is very necessary for parties in a relationship to know how to resolve conflicts. It is also necessary for each partner to realize when a compromise is necessary and should shift ground to avoid such conflicts.

It is a very hard thing to compromise sometimes especially when the issue at hand is dear to your heart. However, if love is the essence of your relationship, then you should realize that true love is sacrificial and seeks to give not receive. This means giving in to your partners desires. If both parties understand this principle there would be fewer conflicts. Why is this so? Both parties become committed to making the other happy and when there are differences in opinion a reasonable person would never seek to have his way even when given permission with reservations by another all the time. When only one party understands this and faithfully practices it, there is a very high likelihood his partner would see his intransigence and would start compromising. The resolution of conflict in your relationship does not lie with the other party but lies with you. Make a change today.

Lastly, a wise man one gave me one of the most important advices on conflicts in a relationship and I would say the same thing to you – no matter what, never go to bed with an unresolved conflict in your relationship.

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