Understanding Conflict


Understanding Conflict

Couples can fight about politics, religion, work, money and how to divide their household chores and in romantic relationships, partners have different ways to deal with conflict.


By: Natasha Morgan

Conflict can occur even in couples who have stable loving relationships. Apparently couples can fight about almost anything from politics and religion to work and money, from how to spend their time to how to divided household chores.

Some conflicts focus on specific activities of their partner such as driving a car. When the driver is criticized by the partner, the potential for conflict arises. Others begin when one partner fails to live up to established responsibilities. If an agreed-upon task such as doing laundry is not completed, conflict may occur.

The situation escalates when the partner uses an incident to support an accusation such as being lazy or inconsiderate.

In romantic relationships, partners have different ways to deal with conflict.

Constructive Methods:

  • A person voices the problem and encourages discussion to solve it. If the relationship has a solid base and both partners have a genuine desire to stay together, this method can be positive. It can provide an opportunity for clarifying and changing expectations. It will also demonstrate deep feelings for each other since they are both willing to make the effort to work things out.
  • A person wants to “drop the issue” and hope that in time things will improve. This route may work for some couples since conflict can arouse strong emotions and hostile words and accusation can do permanent damage to the relationship.


Destructive Methods:

  • A person begins to spend less time with the partner, ignoring the problem and letting the relationship worsen. These actions clearly indicate a lack of interest in saving the relationship.
  • A person decides to end the relationship by moving out of a shared residence or refusing further contact with the person. Although a measure that can cause immense pain, in some cases this maybe be an appropriate solution.

Although conflict by its very nature is perceived to be unpleasant and should be avoided at all costs, if the couple approaches problem solving with a positive attitude, it can actually benefit the relationship.



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