It is not impossible. Couple conflicts have a solution.
Conflicts in couples often happen for various reasons, and it can even be healthy to disagree on some issues. Many times, we close our argument without validating other opinions, thus reducing communication in the couple. How difficult is it to accept the other’s explanation and take it as valid?
Arguments in some couples often end up being a struggle to see who was right.
Sometimes it is worth asking ourselves if what we want to obtain from a discussion is to resolve the conflict that we raise, or simply to get away with flying the flag of reason. The latter happens because it is difficult for us to accept the opinion of the other and recognize that each of us can have our own arguments, from an individual perspective.
Validate the opinion of the other
According to the clinical psychologist Leon Seltzer, the simplest way to resolve a couple conflict is precisely to accept the other’s position, validate their arguments and recognize that even if they do not agree with what each one raises, both may have their reasons to defend their position.
Put into practice, this would be more or less like this: you and your partner argue over something that you can’t agree on. Instead of invalidating what he is proposing to you, and closing yourself in that only you are right, the best way to reconcile both positions is to give the other space to explain their foundations, to ask them more about it and to recognize that, from their place , you may have a reason to make your point.
Ideally, of course, this should be reciprocal, since the way this arrangement normally works is that if the two of you disagree but are willing to validate each other’s divergent perspective as legitimate or true, your partner is much more likely to return the favor.
The positives of disagreeing
Having seemingly “irreconcilable” differences does not mean that the two of you are incompatible, or that when you disagree, you cannot continue to feel close and connected.
Be in disagreementmany times it makes us listen to the other and learn from their opinions. It makes us reflect on things that we had not thought about, and many times it also helps us to shed our pride.
Disagreeing with your partner’s opinion or rationale can be seen from a positive perspective if we learn to understand the other’s motives and resolve conflicts from a less individualistic position.
The rule to validate
The Professor in Psychology Alan Fruzzetti, proposes the theory of the “rule of three” to validate the arguments of the other, in his book “The high conflict couple”. The professional explains that feeling invalidated by the other is painful, and breaking this cycle of invalidation is certainly difficult. Therefore, he proposes a simple rule so that a couple can accept both fundamentals.
This rule consists of finding the disposition and the courage, to validate three consecutive times the fundamentals of your partner, even if he or she invalidates yours. Thus, the other person will almost always stop the attack, and their own negative reaction (disabling responses) towards you will begin to diminish. This works not only for a couple, but for all relationships in general.
Simple steps to resolve the conflict
Although the fundamental point to resolve any type of conflict is to listen and validate the opinion of the couple, we can implement certain steps to get there and achieve not only better communication but also a quick resolution of the conflict:
- Ask yourself if you are looking to show that you have the reason, or resolve the conflict
- Listens with attention to your partner
- Respect your shifts and talk when your partner is done
- Ask him what you do not understand about his fundamentals (thus show interest in his proposals)
- Always explain your intentions with clear justifications and without attacking
- Don’t raise your tone of voice; that way they can both talk more calmly
- Empathize with your partner to understand their point of view
- Write him a letter explaining your position and approving theirs (it has worked for me in moments where emotions did not allow me to express myself orally)
Leaving pride aside and opening up to active listening, empathy with the other will be fundamental steps for the growth and strengthening of the couple.
This exercise will connect you emotionally to feel more willing to resolve any type of conflict and build a bridge between the two.