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Couples and Conflict: Effective Tips For A Healthy Relationship

May 22, 2023




Mental Health

Couples and Conflict: Effective Tips For A Healthy Relationship

In any relationship, conflict is inevitable. Although it may seem detrimental and counterintuitive, a degree of conflict signals that you are invested in your relationship and are willing to resolve issues as they arise. However, that doesn't mean to say that excessive amounts of conflict are healthy. If expressed in a highly negative manner or regularly, conflict can be very destructive to a relationship and the individuals in it. Today, I will discuss the signs of unhealthy conflict, as well as offer tips on how to control this level of disagreement and establish conflict resolution strategies through therapy.

What are the signs of unhealthy conflict?

There are many ways to identify unhealthy relationship conflict. Here's an insight into the main signs:Frequent Arguments: If you are regularly arguing, this could indicate an unhealthy level of conflict. I don't just mean bickering; if you are consistently in a heated argument, this can result in emotional exhaustion, and it'll eventually chip away at the foundation that you've built.Lack of Resolution: It is also unhealthy if you never resolve your disagreements. Not compromising or understanding one another can fester and lead to resentment. If the issues that are regularly argued about go unresolved, the problems will continue to surface.Personal Attacks: Your conflicts should stay amicable. If it becomes personal, this is very harmful to both parties. I am referring to insults, belittling and even name-calling; all of these can damage your trust and respect for one another. Escalation: If your conflicts escalate quickly or to great heights, this indicates that you need to address the root of the cause. If you're unable to remain calm, collected and communicative, these situations could spiral.Avoidance: If you or your partner avoids discussion of your issues or engaging in conflict resolution, this can lead to long-term problems such as resentment and unresolved feelings. Every relationship has its issues, but by avoiding them, it can make them more substantial and damaging in the long term.

Strategies for Conflict Resolution in Relationships

If the above sounds like what you're experiencing, it's time to establish what healthy conflict resolution works for you as a partnership.

Active Listening

While communication is imperative for a healthy relationship, so is listening. Both partners should consciously listen to one another without interrupting, becoming defensive and offering solutions until they've finished saying their piece. This demonstrates respect and a willingness to see it from their partner’s perspective.


Empathy allows you to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they feel. In conflict resolution for couples, empathy plays a significant role in enabling you to get to know the other person on a deeper level, ensuring that you establish a mutual understanding. When a couple struggles to relate to one another, it is harder to have a productive and positive lasting connection.

Use "I" Statements

When finding a resolution to your conflict, you should try to express your thoughts and feelings using "I" as opposed to "you". This avoids accusations and proves that you're willing to take responsibility for your actions, further developing respect in your relationship. If you only accuse and blame, the conversation is sure to become hostile.

Stay Focused

When trying to resolve issues, you must focus on the matter at hand. Avoid bringing up previous grievances or unrelated problems, as this can derail the situation and hinder the conversation. Comparing your partner to ex-partners, friends or other people, in general, can breed resentment and cause lasting damage.

Take a Break

If it all feels too much, there's no harm in taking a break. In any conflict, emotions can run high, and it can become heated. So, it's helpful to calm down so that you see the issue clearly, therefore allowing you to approach the conversation with understanding.

Therapy for Conflict Resolution

Throughout my career, I have worked with many couples addressing conflict and finding a resolution that suits both parties. By specialising in person-centred therapy, I focus my attention on both individuals, ensuring they feel seen and heard while discussing their perspectives and role in the situation. Person-centred therapy can be the answer to healthy conflict resolution, or at least a doorway into a future of successful couples conflict settlement.This approach allows me to focus on supporting, empathising and listening while my clients explore their emotional state in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Couples can openly discuss their conflicts and work together to find a solution while I interpret the process and offer my guidance when asked for. I simply act as a facilitator to encourage you both to establish self-awareness and mutual understanding.

Are you struggling with relationship conflict?

You're not the only one. Many couples experience conflict regularly; it's just about identifying whether it's healthy or unhealthy. I encourage couples to challenge each other's opinions and outlooks without harming the other party. This way, they can both open their minds up to new perspectives, allowing them to understand each other much better.By practising active listening and empathy and focusing on the issues at hand, couples can work together to resolve conflicts constructively. Remember, conflicts allow for growth and development in a relationship as long as they're dealt with using respect and open-mindedness.But to ensure that you have a thriving and resilient relationship, enabling you to weather the inevitable ups and downs of life together, you must establish what works for you as a partnership. Are you both ready to experience the transformative benefits of professional therapy? Contact me, Liddy Carver, today at 07914 952723 to book a session. Today is the day that you invest in the future of your relationship.

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