Avoiding Arguments and Fights: Is It Good? Part 2
By Dr. Coach Love
In Part 1, I explained that differences in thinking and feeling are normal within a couple and that talking about those differences is necessary for intimacy. Unfortunately, couples can fall into the trap of conflict avoidance with the mistaken belief that such measures will keep peace between them. Not true. Many differences represent the uniqueness and individuality of the two people in the couple.
AVOID/HATE CONFLICTS AND ARGUMENTS
When you fail to accept or explore dissimilarities and potential conflicts, you create a slow leak in your relationship. What leaks out? Important opportunities to create intimacy, know each other better, uncover and solve any lurking problems are lost. Tackling these opportunities makes relationship stronger.
THE LANGUAGE YOU USE IS IMPORTANT!
Think about the language that you and your partner use when you are not in agreement about feelings or opinions. How are you and your partner more likely to refer to/feel about how you handle those times?
We are having a (n):
F. Difference of opinion
I. Other Word_____________________
Now you may be looking at this list and dismiss the importance of different word choices by saying, “that’s just semantics”. Of course, it’s about the differences in meaning of the words FOR the people involved in the communication. Pulling up Webster on the Blackberry does not help communicate in the emotions of the moment. “I don’t care what Webster says, what I’m telling you is—–!”
I figure that more than one of these words describes what you do when you are not on the same page. And for many, only the words ‘argument’ and ‘fight’ carry negative vibes. For others, any hint of the above signals active opposition and triggers discomfort. Avoidance behavior kicks in because all of the terms represent unpleasant conflict. Consider this:
You may be withdrawing from what
FEELS LIKE an ugly argument TO YOU
while she feels you abandoned her
and will not discuss what is important
for your relationship.
This is a major disconnection. Questions for you to consider:
What words would you choose from the above list?
Are you comfortable with all of them?
What about your partner?
And most importantly, when you feel like you are in an argument with her, have you ever heard your partner say, “We’re not arguing, we’re just discussing”?