Tension and conflict are an inevitable part of any relationship. It might be a moment when he said he would text you at the end of a night. After an hour being with his friends and he didn’t it might be the moment where he interacts with someone in a way that makes you feel jealous or maybe.
He was blase about something that was really important to you or forgot something a promise that he’d made to you. Tension in these moments is inevitable, but damage to the relationship is not. You see it doesn’t necessarily matter what you argue about. But it does matter how you argue about it and most of us have some kind of reaction.
We do when we’re feeling scared and hurt that destroys instead of developing the relationship. I want you to take a moment to be really honest with yourself and think about what you are what’s your pattern I’ll name a few and I want you to see which of these you relate.
Number one we go silent when our partner doing something we do not like we go into ourselves and we gave them the silent treatment we storm off. Number two we made a point to come out of their vicinity not giving them a chance to talk to us but instead just disappearing. Number three we label our partner instead of saying that was selfish. The thing you did we say you’re a selfish person for you make the argument black and white he’s wrong.
You’re right and there is no room for interpretation or for listening to both sides of the argument. Number four instead of communicating with him you simply vent to your friends often vilifying him in their eyes in the process on number six you go on the attack with vicious comments that are designed to inflict pain not solve problems.
What we have to remember about these reactions is that they are reactions to fear that we’re not enough fear that we won’t be loved fear of abandonment or fear that we chose the wrong partner in life when we’re afraid we do crazy shit.
We know that in the meantime while we’re working through our own issues. We have to better response systems for dealing with conflict because even though we might not fully have a handle on every single one of our emotions in every given moment. What we can control is our reaction to those emotions.
So what are the trained responses that we should be working on instead of going silent speak instead of disappearing. Stay and solve instead of labeling your partner and denigrating their character focus on the behavior. You didn’t like instead of making things black and white allow for nuance in the argument allow for complexity one of my favorite phrases in life is why can’t both be true why can’t it be true that something he did was selfish and also that he didn’t really mean to be or that maybe you overreacted.
In the moment why can’t both be true instead of going to your friends with a propaganda campaign on how badly he acted. Choose one person or two people that are grounded that helped you organize your thoughts and then go back to him to talk and use restraint with the kind of words and phrases and attacks that tomorrow.
You will wish you could take back look when we’re feeling vulnerable or afraid. We all have our own special brand of crazy but when the intoxication of fear wears off all. We will be left with is a reaction we are ashamed of when I see someone acting in weird or wonderful ways I don’t see a crazy person.
I see someone who’s scared but what we have to be big enough to realize is that relationships are made or broken in the moments of conflict and tension. We have to learn how to navigate those moments because that will be the difference between finding and keeping lasting love or losing it forever.