When conflict arises, avoid using blameful language towards your partner as that invites negativity into the situation

Let’s be honest—you and your partner are going to have disagreements. Sometimes they’ll be small (What movie should we watch?), but sometimes they’ll be more serious (When are we going to have children?).

Picking your battles is often given as advice for avoiding unnecessary conflict, but if you apply this advice to serious issues, it can be detrimental to your relationship. Pride, bias, and defensive mechanisms prevent us from dealing with conflict in a healthy, productive manner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are strategies you and your partner can use to effectively deal with conflict in your relationship.

There are two skills that will help shape a positive environment for communication in your relationship: assertiveness and active listening.

  1. To be assertive, it’s important to take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings by using “I” statements instead of starting with “you.”
  2. The process of active listening lets the speaker know if their message was accurately received. It’s imperative for the listener to acknowledge the content and the feelings of the speaker.

Assertiveness is expressing your feelings and asking for what you want in the relationship.

Active listening is listening attentively without interrupting and restating what was heard.


  • Consider attention—How do you give your full attention when your partner is speaking?
  • What distractions make it difficult to concentrate on your partner?
  • How do you know you have your partner’s full attention when you are speaking?
  • When is it difficult to communicate with your partner
  • What makes it easy to communicate with your partner
  • How is the subject matter an indicator of difficulty or ease?
  • How do other environmental factors (time of day, etc.) play a role?

PREPARE/ENRICH has several resources to help you unpack and mine the assessment results around money.


#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

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