One of the most important shifts my clients make is to learn how to use conflict to create more connection within their relationship.
“Make-up sex”, though fun, is not the kind of reconnecting after conflict that I am talking about here.
Rather, I am talking about using conflict as a tool to get to know your partner more deeply through approaching disagreements with curiosity, warmth, and openness.
As difficult as it may be to implement this approach in the moment, it’s key to recognize that your conflict IS a golden opportunity to bring you together instead of pushing you further apart.
Typically with a disagreement, or an outright fight, one of you may need alone time to recalibrate.
It makes sense because they need to find their way back to feeling good again through licking wounds and sitting with their hurt feelings.
On the other hand, maybe one of you moves on after an argument as though nothing happened–that’s also complicated.
For the other person it can be hurtful – and incredibly frustrating.
All of this intensifies when you argue about things that you have fought about many times over for years.
This inevitably leads to a toxic mix of resignation, anger, hurt, hopelessness and inevitability.
This does not have to be your process! Not everyone feels the way I mentioned above.
Perhaps your relationship is one where, after every argument and even minor misunderstandings, you talk to process the situation.
Many people cope by going over how it felt when certain words were said, identifying the ulterior motive behind certain phrases.
This often takes even longer than the original disagreement.
Regardless of the conflict style in your relationship, ultimately, it usually ends with you feeling disconnected from one another.
That means that there’s the pain of the argument and the additional pain of the aftermath.
If you recognize what I am talking about, whether there is yelling and intensity in your relationship, or it’s all rather civilized, then you’ll be glad to know that it DOESN”T have to be like this.
There is another way; a way where you use conflict to bring you closer together and feel more connected.
I love showing my clients what to do when they disagree so that instead of conflict tearing you apart, it becomes a way for you to get to know one another better.
It’s an opportunity to experience tenderness and vulnerability, and more sharing of truth, in ways you could never imagine.
You’ve probably never seen conflict play serve a relationship in this way, unless your parents had some very unique skills.
No one is ever TAUGHT, necessarily, how to interact this way in a relationship.
As a result, this is a way of being that can feel completely new…until it becomes familiar and exciting.
Embracing the conflict-for-growth mindset often leads to new and surprising results.
After I teach couples how to lean in and feel more connected in the midst of conflict, they look me in the eyes and say, “I look forward to our next argument! I can’t wait to try it out!” My client Julia described it this way.
Our relationship before working with Alexandra was a rollercoaster of emotions, reactivity, and explosive arguments.
We were both exhausted by the constant struggle and our wits end of what to do.
We are now a happily married couple who have built a foundation for a life together.
We have learned how to navigate our own emotional challenges and take better care of each other.
We understand how to understand and respect each other even when we disagree.
Through working with Alexandra, we have been able to stay connected to our love for each other, see through the challenges to what personal growth needs to be done and calm the storms between us through new awareness and targeted tools.
Instead of fighting, Julia and her husband, Andrew, learned how to channel their passion and intensity into seeing one another more clearly.
By opening up to their respective needs and perspectives, they turned up the heat in ways they both very much enjoyed.
When couples have a lot of conflict, I focus my coaching on how they can stay grounded and present while emotions swirl, and I show them how to use what arises to create more intimacy.
Whichever way you tend, the 6 keys to an intimate marriage show you how to enjoy being more fully expressed.
As a result, your full expression no longer has to be dangerous and can, instead, pave the way for tenderness and connection.
Face your fears, speak your truth, and you can blossom in the most unexpected ways.
I promise it can be really that good.
Try it for yourself! And if you’d like to learn more about having a growth oriented relationship read my book alexandrastockwell. com/work-with-alexandra/”>check out my coaching programs here
com/work-with-alexandra/”>check out my coaching programs here