When dealing with conflict in your relationship, it's important to resist the urge to bring up past experiences that have already been resolved and reopen them for discussion. Acknowledging the current disagreement and working through the conflict by actively listening to your partner is a great goal.
- What are your automatic negative responses when conflict arises? Anger? Withdrawal? Defensiveness?
- How do these reactions affect your ability to resolve issues respectfully?
- What can you do to counteract these reactions?
- How can you show your partner respect in the midst of conflict?
- What do you need to feel respected? Why is it important to be conscious of respect?
- What does “take responsibility for your own feelings” mean to you?
- What does it feel like to recognise your feelings in the situation? Are you relieved? Do you feel more vulnerable? Do you feel proud? How does this help emotionally charged situations?
Respect your partner, remember you are on the same team, and know it’s okay to take a time out if you need to. While embracing the conflict and dealing with it can be uncomfortable, ultimately it can bring you closer as a couple.
Source: DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COUPLES, PREPARE/ENRICH 2017
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