At this Conflict Juncture…

When a relationship becomes more serious and all the idiosyncrasies that were once cute lose their luster, and in comes the bickering and resentment, you may feel like you have boarded the Express Train to Splitsville. Your relationship is full speed ahead towards the same old and all the energy spent fighting over the same things repeatedly can leave you so emotionally drained that you yearn for something different.

Anything different is better

Today we take the “anything different is better” mentality and interpret it as “anyone different is better” without ever really considering “any thought/action different is better.” Who says once you’re on that train that there are no stops? Is it possible to pull an emergency break, get off and take a different route? Simple answer is yes! It doesn’t have to end in a train wreck!  You may have to build the track… TOGETHER! It will take some hard work but it is not impossible.

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Photo by Aaron Moeller

Many times we have a very myopic scope of our relationships and laser focus on our own needs and how they are not being met by our partner. Being unable to see the full picture and understand what you’re looking at makes it extremely difficult to move forward.  Ask anyone who wears glasses or contacts!   In terms of a relationship we cannot see where we may be coming up short on delivering for our partners.  Couple that myopic view point with continual arguments with phrases like, “you always” and “you never” and we can almost see city limits of Splitsville on the horizon.
With the raw materials like love for one another, the desire to be together and the will to make a change then you are already ahead of the game, my friend! When we get caught in that vicious cycle of arguing about the same thing over and over again, there are two things we become experts on: how the topic makes us feel and how our partner will respond.

Can we talk…?

We have to laser focus on what is being said to us. Although we may not agree with everything that is being said to us, we must make a choice of trying to understand the message that is being conveyed to us and accept that it is important to the person we love. Because the person we love is important to us, we cannot always bombard them with our own needs and points of view. It is easy to recognize when we have begun bulldozing our partners during a difference of opinion when every other complete though begins with “I feel,” or “I think” … And every other statement ends in “to me,” or “about me.”
Opening lines of communications with open ended questions creates a dialogue that can help get to the root of the problem. Many times we get caught up in arguing about an issue and never addressing the real problem; when we do that, the problem reemerges in a form of another issue and we are back on the hamster wheel reacting off one another. Someone needs to take initiative and just listen for a moment: listening intently without thinking in your mind what to next while someone is speaking is a sure fire way to finally “get them.”

Not really sure what I think about it

Just because someone is speaking does not mean you are obligated to respond right away. Every now and then we get thrown a hay-maker in a conversation and don’t know what to say. It is okay not know and maybe ponder on what is being said to you until it resonates with you enough to form your own thoughts and feelings. We are not computers! It can take time to process information and let our heads catch up to our hearts. Immediate responses are not always appropriate. Keeping in mind that immediate responses are not always appropriate keeps us from saying or doing things we don’t actually mean and end up having to apologize later.
Someone has to take the first step and be the catalyst and lead by example.  Who is it going to be, at this juncture?

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