Would you like to transform fighting from being hurtful to being a catalyst for intimacy and connection? Below I lay out a powerful framework to do that.
First, it’s important to understand why we fight.
- The #1 Thing Couples Fight About Based On 40 Years of Research
- Even Your Soulmate Will Cause Relationship Problems
The Mindset of Healthy Fighting:
Having conflicts in your intimate relationship is inevitable. The difference between couples that have happy long-lasting relationships and those that don’t begins with the partners mindset in conflict.
How to Fight Better
The way that we start fights is the way it tends to end. What matters most is not that we have conflict but how couples repair together.
- 5 Steps to Fighting Better if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For
- Why Sticking to I Statements in Couple Talk is So Cliche
- Couples Guide to Fighting Better: Focus on the Issue
- Repairs During Conflict are a Superpower of Emotionally Connected Couples
- How to Fight if Your Marriage Matters
Typical Fighting Patterns
Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The research on relationships shows that the opposite is true. Unhappy couples are often stuck in similar patterns that prevent them from emotionally connecting to create the happy, long-lasting relationship they crave.
- 6 Telltale Signs of the Most Toxic Relationship of All
- An Always Happy Relationship is a Doomed Relationship
- Stopping the Pursue-Withdraw Pattern: An Interview with Scott R. Woolley. Ph.D.
The Four Horsemen
By studying thousands of couples for more than 40 years, Dr. Gottman was able to predict with a 90% accuracy whether a marriage would end in six years or not. The Four Horsemen represent four signs that a relationship is struggling.
- The Habit of Criticism is Poisonous to Any Relationship
- Have You Committed to a Contempt-Free Marriage?
- Defensiveness Doesn’t’ Protect a Relationship
- Chronic Stonewalling Imprisons a Relationship
Resolve Your Conflicts
There are two types of conflicts: Unsolvable and solvable conflicts. In fact, Dr. Gottman’s research shows that 69% of conflict is unsolvable. This is not a problem if you learn to communicate and work with the unsolvable problem. The unsolvable problem can actually bring you closer together just as solving your solvable problems can.
- The One Daily Talk that will Change Your Relationship
- 4 Common Solvable Problems in Romantic Relationships
- 4 Steps to Overcome Gridlock that Harms Relationships
The Weekly Conflict Meeting
Couples often leave conflict to the moment something arises. This is why it’s important to set aside consistent, intentional time to talk about what’s on your heart. This gives both partners the assurance that a problem will get the air time it needs for the feelings to be healed. The articles below offer a blueprint on how to have an effective conflict based on forty years of research on thousands of couples.
- This Pre-Conflict Warm-up Helps Couples Fight Better
- Help Your Partner Understand Your Side of the Conflict in 3 Steps
- There Are Two Views to Every Conflict and Both Are Valid
- Transform Criticism into Wishes: A Recipe for Successful Conflict
- Understanding Must Proceed Advice in Relationship Conflict
- How to Listen without Getting Defensive in Relationship Conflict
- Stop Trying to Fix Your Partner’s Feelings, Connect with Them Instead
- Understanding Each Other: Part One of the State of the Union Meeting
- Reaching a Compromise: Part Two of the State of the Union Meeting