By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services
How do you fight for love? The question might put some people off – when you’re in love, aren’t you supposed to get along? But fighting as we often think of it – the hurt feelings, the anger, the pain – doesn’t need to be unproductive. In fact, conflict – the times when we don’t get along well with our partners – is necessary for a partnership to grow and evolve toward long-term, sustained happiness.
In this video, Bruce Muzik from Love At First Fight shares with us the myth that conflict is something to be avoided in our relationships. The truth, we discover, is that conflict is simply a natural power struggle that happens in every relationship. Watch the video below to learn more about how we can shift our perception of conflict and use this experience to strengthen our relationships.
To really embrace the change needed to make conflict a positive experience in your relationship, it requires both partners to take ownership, have insight, and trust that the other partner is “in the fight” with them, not against them. Consider the following questions for yourself and your partner as you reflect on the message of the video:
- What messages did you and your partner receive about conflict growing up? How was handling conflict modeled for you by the adults in your lives?
- What are the typical triggers for the conflicts you engage in the most? What are the underlying fears associated with these triggers?
- What is your fighting style? What is your partner’s? (You can view the pdf hand-out on the fighting styles here)
- How can you and your partner work together to prevent reactive conflict?
- Practice having a conscious fight – how is that experience different from a reactive fight? How can you keep these conflicts productive and meaningful?
- How can you remind each other to focus on the principles of conscious fighting when a reactive fight is happening?
With these keys in mind, couples can work together to ease the pain of conflict and move past the power struggle stage. Use the hand-out from the Love at First Fight page to explore this concept further and practice these principles in your day-to-day interactions. And remember: