9 Common Negative Conflict Patterns That Damage Relationships

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Breaking through conflicting pattern in relationship can still be effective in repairing the damage in the connection.

Every intimate relationship has its ups and downs. No matter how compatible the partners may be, they are bound to occasionally disagree.

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If those conflicts are insignificant, the couple will eventually make up and let them go. But, if they are crucial but remain unresolved, they can create potentially irreparable damage over time.

The process that couples rely upon to resolve disputes are their conflict patterns. They not only reveal a lot about their relationship, but they also can portend its future. Arguments that are both repetitive and unresolved too often result in the avoidance of important issues. These “unprocessed disconnects” are bound to fester over time and can cause permanent relationship damage.

Alternately, if they can be courageously faced and successfully resolved, they can actually help a couple to not only prevent that relationship bruising but enhance their intimacy. When each important dispute is processed and understood, the partners can use each successive dispute to understand better how and why they fight. That knowledge allows them to use each successive argument to practice those new skills.

Unfortunately, in my four decades of working with intimate couples, I more routinely see intimate partners do the opposite. Not learning from their repeated similar arguments, they endure the same negative outcomes. With each successive similar interaction, they remain stuck in these “groundhog day” fruitless disconnects. The couples typically make up in highly predictable ways but bury the issues that needed to be resolved.

I have often witnessed these negative combat patterns in the therapeutic setting. Many times, after watching a couple repeat them over and over, I am bewildered that the partners do not seem to realize that they are repeating what they have done so often in the past. They seem helpless to both stop these negative interactions or remember their repetition.

Each intimate partnership seems to have its own unique and predictable conflict patterns. The partners both use their same phrases, voice intonations, body language, facial expressions, rhythms and predictable time sequences that can range from five-minute flairs to long, extended all night sessions. And, in most relationships, it is the same partner who brings the couple back together after a fight.

As couples begin to identify and understand their own ineffective and damaging fight patterns, they are able to challenge and change them. But, these changes cannot happen rapidly. It is totally normal for every couple, no matter how well they are learning, to slip into destructive conflict patterns from time to time until they master the skills to avoid them.

What makes success more probable is their willingness to courageously face what they have been doing, avoid any negative judgements, and for both partners to be accountable for the roles they have played in maintaining them. And to keep in mind the most critical change of attitude: No blame, the courage to be accountable for their own part in the process, and their willingness to change those behaviors.

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Dr. Randi Guntherhttp://www.randigunther.com/
In her 40-year-career as a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, She Had Spent Over 100,000 face-to-face hours with singles and couples helping them to sort out their desires and conflicts about intimate relationships. She Had explored all the reasons why their relationships so often start out euphoric only to crumble and how they can turn those disappointments into future successes. She truly believe that the greatest obstacles standing between you and the love you want is often right before your eyes but you are unable to envision the journey. Her specialty is to help you look at yourself and your relationships with heroic honesty and the willingness to look deeply at yourself and what you bring to a relationship so that you can finally create the kind of transformation that will change you forever. You'll finally understand why you've struggled in love, and what skills you'll need to create the kind of relationship you've always wanted - one in which you fall deeper in love while simultaneously scaling the heights of your individual potential. It's how her husband and She have made their marriage their bedrock for over 60 years. Subscribe to her free advice newsletter at www.heroiclove.com where she'll tell you everything she has learned about finding and keeping a truly heroic relationship.

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