Conflict handling is crucial in a relationship
No matter how much you love your spouse, disagreements are bound to happen in a marriage. It is natural to have different opinions, needs, and desires, and sometimes, they clash. However, conflict does not have to spell the end of your relationship. In fact, if handled properly, it can strengthen your bond and deepen your understanding of each other.
For instance, you get to learn what hurts the other, hence find ways to either avoid it or pacify the situation. You also get to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses as well as how to support one another. This is crucial because the perception is that you are in this marriage for the long haul and not for a ‘hit and run’ experience.
Domitila Amongin, a relationship counsellor, says we all approach conflict in our own style and each of these styles has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to recognize which style you tend to use and how it affects communication and resolution in your relationship. By understanding these styles, you can develop more effective conflict management strategies that lead to more productive and satisfying outcomes.
This style involves avoiding or withdrawing from the conflict altogether. Individuals who use this style may feel that it is better not to engage in the conflict in order to maintain peace. However, avoiding can hinder communication and resolution, as it does not address the underlying issue.
This style involves putting the needs of others before one’s own needs. Individuals who use this style may feel that it is more important to maintain the relationship than to win the conflict. Accommodating can help maintain harmony in the short- term, but can hinder resolution as it may allow the underlying issue to persist. That is because should the offender be the exploiting kind, this is a loophole for further hurt.
This style involves pursuing one’s own needs and goals at the expense of others. Individuals who use this style may feel that it is important to ‘win’ the conflict. Competing can be effective in situations where quick action is needed, but can hinder communication and resolution if it leads to one person dominating the conversation.
This style involves finding a solution that partially satisfies both parties. Individuals who use this style may feel that it is important to find a solution that is fair to both parties. Compromising can be effective in situations where there is limited time or resources, but can hinder resolution if it results in a ‘band-aid’ solution that does not address the underlying issue.
This style involves finding a solution that satisfies the needs and goals of both parties. Individuals that use this style may feel that it is important to understand the underlying issues and work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. Collaborating can be effective in complex situations that require a creative solution. However, it can hinder resolution if it takes too much time or effort to find a solution.
Conflict is normal in marriage, but it does not have to be destructive.