High-conflict Couples: How Can They Improve Their Relationships?

couple mad at each other

Couples have varying reasons they choose to separate. One common reason is unresolved conflicts. You may feel uncomfortable with conflict. However, there will come a time when you and your partner won’t see things eye to eye. Arguments can quickly start, resulting in hostility, criticism, anger, shame, and blame. What has started as an innocent and minor argument can turn into a wild and painful conflict.

Good communication is vital toward building strong bonds, trust, and intimacy. Without this, one can’t expect to establish a healthy and long-lasting relationship. Aside from this, other things can help high-conflict couples improve their relationship:

Consider Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This type of therapy aims to help couples resolve conflicts by regulating their emotions and behavior. It allows you to learn skills essential in improving your relationship. It can teach you how to communicate your feelings effectively and tolerate distress. It can even teach you to exercise mindfulness so that you’ll be more sensitive to your partner’s needs. By undergoing DBT in Westport Connecticut, you get to learn how to control your emotions effectively.

Ask; don’t be a mind-reader

One big no-no when trying to resolve conflicts with your partner is mind-reading. You may know your partner well, considering the amount of time you’ve been together. But don’t always assume that you “know” what they are thinking or feeling at the moment. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire and only make an even bigger misunderstanding. Listen to what they are trying to say and ask them about what they think and feel.

Don’t resort to stonewalling

angry couple

Stonewalling happens when one avoids the other during an argument. Some resort to defensive tactics. Others avoid any discussion or argument at all costs. In a nutshell, stonewalling your partner won’t resolve the issue. It can only make matters worse and cause serious damage to your relationship. Be open to conversations, and don’t build walls between you and your partner.

Go for a break if needed

Some couples fail to improve their relationship because they don’t know when to take a break. There are times when one needs a time-out to analyze the situation better. Take a break and relax before talking about your problems. You can choose to go on a long walk, talk to your family or friends, or even take a relaxing bubble bath. Clearing your mind is one good way to feel better and stay refreshed. Do this before confronting your partner about your problems.

Mind your tone and language

When trying to resolve a conflict, avoid raising your voice. Shouting can only add to the drama and hurt your partner’s feelings. Mind what tone you use. It is best to speak in a softer tone to show that you still care about your partner despite the argument. Avoid cursing even if you’re not directing the words to your partner. Also, instead of criticism, remind them of how important they are to you. Never attack your partner, or they will end up feeling lonely.

These are five things to keep in mind when trying to resolve a conflict. This list is especially helpful for those high-conflict couples. Know that not all couples are high-conflict ones. But DBT can be of great help to effectively improve a couple’s relationship.

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