Most often than not, we experience conflicts in our relationship and wonder what the right step to take is. Should we avoid it, shrug it off, and move on? Or acknowledge it and find a healthy way to resolve it? Please don’t beat yourself up too much; here, we will go through relationship conflict and its courses and advise you on ways to maintain a healthy relationship.

Conflict is a normal part of a healthy relationship. Even so, without conflict and a little bit of stress, you might start doubting whether you or your partner take each other seriously at all. You might sometimes feel out of touch with your feelings or judge that your partner’s demands, actions, or inaction might be stressing you out. The goal is not to lash out in fear or try to avoid Conflict by withdrawing into yourself, but try to resolve it healthily and reasonably.

Here, we will touch on how conflicts can affect partners in a relationship, mentally, physically, and emotionally and give a few tips on coping and managing it.

Relationship Conflict

Conflict in relationships is a disagreement resulting from either personality clashes or negative emotional interactions between two people. It could either be at work, home, or social gatherings.

While Conflict in relationships can be really frustrating and overall annoying, it constitutes a significant source of stress. Unhealthy disagreement can negatively affect the mental health and physical well-being of both partners. However, Conflict can also play a positive role in a healthy relationship by creating growth opportunities. It is when Conflict is mismanaged that it causes significant harm to a relationship.

When two people in a relationship find themselves in gridlock over a touchy issue, it is essential to step back and find a way to handle it separately and positively. Conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between partners when handled with care. No matter the circumstance of the disagreement, learning effective ways to handle relationship conflicts can help resolve differences in a healthy way and facilitate more rewarding and stronger relationships.

Effects of Conflict on your Health

Conflict in relationships has been identifying as a significant stressor. It triggers strong emotions and can result in one person hurting another’s feelings. Most often than not, disappointment and discomfort are associated with conflicts handled in an unhealthy manner. It causes partners to drift apart and resent each other. That, is worse cases have been proved to result in obsessive disorder and unnecessary anger towards each other.

A body of research conducted over 30 years on the link of interpersonal Conflict and psychological outcomes have shown that Conflict in romantic relationships affects internal bodily processes like:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine
  • Immune functions
  • Objective health indicators.

A stressor that nearly all partners experience is Conflict, which can be detrimental to their health and relationships if navigated poorly. The conflict has been associated with heightened depressive and anxiety symptoms, poorer subjective health, and increased functional impairment cross-sectionally and, over time, lead to repressive behavior in partners.

Unhealthy conflicts in relationships can open you to various illnesses and increase your chances of falling into a state of chronic stress disorder. Illnesses like common cold and flu are commonly associated with exposure to prolonged Conflict. Unhealthy Conflicts among family members can open people to chronic pain like migraine headaches and pains from physical abuse.

It is essential to manage your stress level. A poorly managed stress level can increase your risk of developing chronic stress-influenced physical and mental health conditions like depression, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleeplessness, and sexual dysfunction.

Physical pain resulting from Conflict

The conflict between partners or within immediate family members can lead to what scientists refer to as the “broken-heart Syndrome.” That is triggered by extreme and sudden emotional trauma or physical stress. That can result in excessive chest pain similar to what you will feel when having a cardiac arrest.

When exposed to prolonged stress as a result of Conflict in relationships, you might become sensitive to physical touch that might result in pain. In the long run, you might become numb to such pain and tend to withdraw from the source of such stress.

Not Acknowledging Conflict can be harmful!

People in relationships tend to avoid conflict to save themselves from the stress of arguing with their partners. It has been proven to be more detrimental to the survival of such relationships. Repression, anger, and intense emotional feelings can be harmful.

A relationship without Conflict is unhealthy and not always a happy one. Research has proven that suppressing anger among couples can shorten the life span of both partners.

Acknowledging Conflict and talking it out with your partner will increase the bond between you and lead to a healthy understanding of yourselves.

A poorly managed conflict is not only risky to one person; both parties stand the risk of having a breakdown in the relationship and personal health. The best way to handle conflict is to face it head-on and resolve it respectfully.

Tips to resolving conflicts

Conflict is a part of any healthy relationship. However, resolving it can be tricky. If not handled well, it can cause irreparable harm.

The key is to understand healthy ways to resolve your Conflict respectfully to foster harmony and lead a healthy life in your relationship.

  • You need to develop the capacity to empathize with the other person’s opinion. Do not just hear the attacks; listen and reason from the other person’s perspective.
  • Avoid being defensive. Be calm and respectful when you react to situations.
  • Nurture a habitual readiness to forgive and forget. Learn to move past Conflict without holding grudges or resentments.
  • Do not brush Conflict aside. Confront it head-on. Study the best time to bring up your grievances. That is what is always best for both partners.
  • Agree to disagree. Nurture the ability to compromise and avoid punishing the other person.
  • Listen to understand and not to attach or find leverage. Do not seek to win an argument; instead, find an amicable solution that will satisfy both parties.

Coping Mechanism

To foster harmony in relationships and retain self-respect, it is essential to cope with conflicts. One of the best ways to go about resolving Conflict is effective communication. Learning to talk to each other instead of avoiding the issue helps resolve disputes much faster and reduces stress. If you and your partner or family member with whom you are in Conflict find it hard to develop this skill, you can opt for group or couple’s counseling.

Individual or couples’ Therapy is another step you can take to try and resolve a conflict. It depends on whether you and your partner want to have the therapy as a couple or prefer to see separate therapists.

Another modality that most people find helpful is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It is a type of treatment where people learn to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that negatively influence behavior and emotions. Seeing a therapist in most cases helps in resolving conflicts faster.