This means that a relationship has vitality only to the degree that it can endure the stresses of each difference and resolve them through healthy conflict, so that the relationship and the individuals in it can move toward greater authenticity.
Then notion of the totally tranquil, we-never-fight relationship as the paragon of love is a dangerous fallacy. All too often the persons in such a situation are scared to death of testing the resilience of their relationship by airing their real differences, or have so suppressed their individual selves that their differences seem invisible.
Many couples are scared of conflict because they don’t know how to fight. They are afraid their own anger will run away with them, that they’ll lose control and become vicious, vituperative, or even physically destructive. They maybe afraid of the other person’s anger. They wonder will he or she yell, throw things, slam the door, or maybe walk out?
These behaviors can sometimes occur and can even be a real danger, especially for people who have been abused with anger themselves. But even they can learn to express anger in a constructive way.The sign of a good fight is that it makes you both feel you have discovered something, that you know one another better.
Even if you fight again and again about the same issues (and most people do), a good fight gives you hope about the future because you have gained a measure of insight about something that previously baffled or frustrated you. Here’s some help:
1. Try to see what you’re upset about. This is usually something very specific:”That he or she didn’t call you” not “Because life is miserable.”
2. State your feelings and why you feel that way: “I’m upset that you didn’t call because it makes me feel unloved.”
3. Say what you need in recompense: ” I need you to apologize.”
4. After your mate has given the apology, ask yourself and him or her if you feel totally resolved.
5. Kiss and make up.
For example: “I’m upset with you for yelling at me about burning the tea kettle. You embarrassed me in front of Jane. It made me feel belittled to have to have her hear you talk to me like that. I need you to apologize.” I’m sorry, honey. I was in such a rush this morning and was anxious about that big meeting. I was out of line. I don’t want to make you feel that way. Please forgive me.”
They never go to bed upset with each other. Yes! They do deserve an award for being the kind of people that we all should aspire to be like. Don’t they?
You can learn to be gracious when someone offends you. To start with try to remember.
1. A good fight isn’t a free for all. Don’t say everything you feel like saying even though you may have a legitimate gripe. Remember that words can wound, and after the fight you don’t want a battered mate.
2. Be specific with your complaints. Don’t throw in all your grievances since time began.
3. Let the other person’s words sink in before you take up your cudgel. Remember, you’re having this fight to learn something, to arrive at some new insight as well as an immediate resolution.
4. Go easy on yourself and your honey when you don’t do it perfectly.