How to Manage Conflict in a Relationship

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. It can be caused by a variety of things, such as different values, goals, or ways of doing things. While conflict can be difficult to deal with, it can also be an opportunity to learn more about your partner and grow closer as a couple.

Here are some tips for managing conflict in a relationship:

  1. Choose the right time to talk. Don’t try to have a difficult conversation when you’re both tired, stressed, or angry. Wait until you’re both calm and able to focus on the issue at hand.
  2. Listen to each other’s point of view. Really try to understand where your partner is coming from. Don’t just listen to respond; listen to understand.
  3. Avoid name-calling and insults. It’s important to stay respectful, even when you’re angry. Name-calling and insults will only make the situation worse.
  4. Focus on the issue, not the person. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and for an argument to follow. But it’s important to remember that the issue is not about who is right or wrong; it’s about finding a solution that works for both of you.
  5. Be willing to compromise. No one is going to get everything they want in every situation. Be willing to compromise in order to find a solution that both of you can live with.
  6. Seek professional help if needed. If you’re unable to resolve the conflict on your own, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist can help you and your partner learn how to communicate more effectively and resolve conflict in a healthy way. You can search for a relationship counsellor here on our counselling database.

We understand that conflict is never easy, but we also know that it doesn’t have to be destructive. By following these tips, you can learn to manage conflict in a way that strengthens your relationship.

Image shows a couple holding hands over a cup of coffee, taken from:

Here are some additional tips for managing conflict in a relationship:

  • Take a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or angry, it’s okay to take a break from the conversation. Go for a walk, take a few deep breaths, or do something else to calm down. Once you’ve had a chance to cool off, you can come back to the conversation with a clearer head. Make sure that you explain to your partner that this is what you are doing and that you are not ‘walking away from them’. This way they know you will return to the conversation once you feel able to do so.
  • Be specific. When you’re expressing your concerns, be as specific as possible. Don’t just say, “You never help out around the house.” Instead, say something like, “I feel overwhelmed when I come home from work and the house is a mess. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with the dishes and laundry.” This make take some practice, and that is okay.
  • Be open to feedback. Just as you’re sharing your concerns, be open to hearing your partner’s concerns. Don’t just listen to respond; really listen to what they have to say.
  • Be willing to change. If you’re both willing to change, you’ll be more likely to resolve the conflict. Be willing to compromise and meet your partner halfway.

REMEMBER: Conflict is a normal part of any relationship. But by following these tips, you can learn to manage conflict in a way that both strengthens and deepens your relationship.