Coping With Arguments or Conflicts with a Loved One
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Why Arguments Happen
Arguments and conflicts happen between people, especially loved ones. Coping with them can be quite the chore, as well. Why do arguments and conflicts happen? How do you work them out?
Conflicts happen for a number of reasons, and how you work them out will depend on who you are having the conflict with. People can be stubborn. Stubbornness and pride can cause people to become self-centered and causes them to think about their wants and needs before anyone else's. Disagreements can cause a wide gulf to span between loved ones.
In order to reconnect with loved ones, selflessness and sacrifice are needed. It is important to pick your battles wisely.
Conflicts in Romantic Relationships
Arguments and conflicts are going to happen. Cohabiting with others can be difficult. Each person has a different point of view and morals they live by. At times, a person can take a strong stand for what they believe in, yet their loved ones may not believe the same way.
For example, Mary and John have been married for 6 years. John has been invited to go to a strip club with his friends for a bachelor party. Mary and John have an excellent relationship. They communicate with each other well and have a good connection. John has always stood up for Mary and does not let his eye wander. John is not a big fan of strip clubs, but this bachelor party is for one of his best friends, and his friend really wants him to attend. Mary is hurt and upset because she does not believe married men belong in strip clubs, period. They argue about the party for two weeks, which has caused a rift between them. Mary has been so upset about this party that her nagging has pushed John away while he tries to figure out what to do.
Finally, Mary and John have had enough of the tension between them, and Mary breaks down crying and tells John to go ahead and go. As much as she doesn't like the situation, she realizes the John is caught between her and his friend. In this position, destroying their relationship over a bachelor party is not healthy for either of them. John feels bad for Mary and thinks about not going to the party after all. He's not crazy about strip clubs but does not want to disappoint his friend or his wife.
In this example, the only thing that will stop the anger and arguing between Mary and John is sacrifice from one of them. John could call his friend and suggest alternative ideas for the bachelor party, so he can still be involved. John can tell his friend that his wife comes first in his life, and that he is not going to damage their marriage by watching women strip their clothes off. Or, Mary can let it go and not hold resentments against her husband and know that he's not going to be bringing any strippers home with him.
Any of these options are good examples of coping with arguments and conflicts with a spouse. In a healthy marriage, the husband and wife should not be in the relationship to "get what they want." Love is sacrifice, and John refusing to go to the bachelor party would be a huge act of love towards Mary. Spouses come first, and their needs come first. Couples need to focus on showing love to the other person. John's willingness to not attend the bachelor party is an excellent way to avoid the conflict before it gets out of control.
Arguments between Siblings and Friends
Siblings argue. There is no avoiding it. Having siblings is like having part-time friends and part-time enemies living with you around the clock. If a child is lucky, they will have their own room and a place to retreat when things get heated between them. Siblings can also be a child's closest friends.
Arguments that happen between siblings are similar to the conflicts that can take place between friends. Peer pressure plays a significant role in conflict. Bullying has also become a major issue between peers.
Most of the time, siblings and friends will work out their differences. Arguments happen sometimes because of the closeness between them, especially if they live together. This is the same with adults, just not at such an extreme level.
Apologizing for the offense and forgiving the other person is a strong way to mend differences between people with conflicts in their relationships.
Resolving Arguments and Conflicts
Resolution is the most important aspect of arguments and conflicts. Resolving differences is critical for making peace with others. Depending on the conflict and how angry the involved parties are will depend on how well the resolution will work.
The problem that can make resolution difficult is people's inability to sacrifice their wants for the benefit of others. People can be stubborn and become so set on what they want that they forget about the needs and emotions of others. But, love can bring them together.
What is love? Love is not just an emotion or a feeling about another person. Love is also an action word that requires sacrifice and setting aside your own selfishness. If you truly love someone, it is important to consider others' feelings and beliefs. Loving another person includes putting others' needs first before our own.
Don't misunderstand what was just said. This does not mean that when Junior, your 16-year old son, wants to go to a party where alcohol and drugs might be served, that you should give him what he wants. Maybe your spouse has decided he/she needs a new $1,000 wardrobe that cannot be afforded, financially.
Choosing to sacrifice for others does not mean choosing wrong over right to make another person happy. Choosing to resolve differences does not mean giving others what they want, no matter what. It means making healthy choices to come up with a good solution that works for everyone. Things that need to be considered during resolution is the outcome and how the decisions will positively or negatively affect our loved ones.
As mentioned in the first story about Mary and John, the only resolutions are that either John would attend the bachelor party or he wouldn't. In that situation, whatever decision is made has to be made out of love, with concern for the other person's emotions. Does John, a married man, really have any business being in a strip club? Not really.
Exceptions to Resolution
There are situations where you might not be in a healthy relationship with your loved ones. You could be married to an abusive spouse. Abuse comes in many forms: physical, sexual, and mental/emotional. Abusive people have a tendency to be extremely negative and narcissistic, and their abusive behavior can wear on others.
If you are in an abusive relationship, the chance that things will improve are slim. Unless your significant other is willing to see a therapist and get help, the relationship will not improve. The only thing you can do to better the situation is to get out of the relationship.
Coping with arguments and conflicts with loved ones is not easy, but it can be done successfully. If resolution is difficult, consider bringing a third party in to mediate the situation, such as a therapist. A third party can help by keeping the environment neutral, as well as providing suggestions that you might not have thought of yourself.