Managing Relationship Conflict

Marriage and couples counselor Trey Duckett discusses managing relationship conflict.

couple managing conflict


[MUSIC PLAYING] – I think one of the myths around relationship is that a lot of conflict is bad or that how much conflict you have is really determinant of how well your relationship is going. I hear people talk about this all the time, and I challenge us that I think we’re looking at it the wrong way.

From my experience, what I’ve seen is that how couples have conflict is so much more important than how much of it they’re having. If couples are able to manage this conflict well, things go much better. However, I think when we look back and examine our relationships in the conflict we’re having in them, I think it’s so easy to see this perpetual cycle of our conflict.

We often fall into patterns that continue to spiral us when we’re in a conflict with our partner. Managing that cycle and finding new ways of communicating can restore and revitalize a relationship. Not that it’s going to reduce the amount of conflict that you’re having, but change how you have it. That way, conflict can be productive and help people feel heard and understood and help us to eventually come to a point of problem solving.

But when we aren’t managing conflict well, we don’t get to those points. And that’s when things begin to fall apart. That’s when relationships become unhealthy, not when we’re fighting too much, but when our conflict isn’t done well.