We teach people how to treat us by the way we respond to them!
Often in relationships, we tend to ignore our partners’ comments and/or behaviors because we do not want to create conflict or make them upset.
All the while, we experience inner conflict from the lack of addressing the issue at hand.
The bottom line is this…there will be conflict! Is it better to have covert or overt conflict?
Let’s discuss this scenario
When I was first married, my husband had a habit of leaving the house without informing me. I remember the anger, and feelings of disrespect.
Of course, I already had already conjured up the words I wanted to express upon his arrival.
When I heard the garage door open, I was ready to let him have it! However, as he opened the door, I could not say a word. I just peered at him.
He smirked, and asked, “What’s wrong with you?” I responded in a low stern voice, and asked, “where were you?!” He slowly held up the bag of cleaning supplies, and replied, “I just ran to the store!” I was quite ambivalent; wondering if I should continue the charade, or to get over it!
After all, his intentions were good! I allowed some time to pass, so I could calm down to think about my thoughts. I invariably decided to talk about the situation.
Timing and presentation are vital components for composed conflicts!
I knew I wanted to address what I felt was important to me. My motto says, “If it’s important enough to bother you, it’s important enough to discuss!”
Consequently, I preceded once the atmosphere was conducive for composed conversation. I, then, was able to converse the reason for my frustration.
I preceded to explain my position, suggesting that an accident could happen to either one of us. So, communicating our whereabouts is necessary.
I further explained, “It’s not about keeping tabs, it about being informed. “This little conversation made a huge difference! My husband has been communicating since that day, whether if it’s yelling up the stairs, “I’ll be right back,” or a pleasant peck on the forehead.
Conflicts lead to frustration, stress, and anxiety
The conflict started out covertly, but if it remains, it leads to more frustration, stress, and anxiety.
Negative thoughts send messages to our brains to release corresponding chemical reactions.
Of course, cortisol and adrenaline are always there to meet the need and to perpetuate negative thoughts, emotions, and maladaptive behaviors.
To resolve self, and relationship conflict, exercising the ostrich mentality is not the answer!
Communication can be the answer
It is important that your partner knows how you feel about particular issues. It is quite unfair to expect your spouse to change, or do better when they do not know what to change.
Sometimes offences are made, and your spouse has no idea what they have done to offend you.
It is then, incumbent upon the individual who is offended to address the issue at hand, and not expect your partner to be a mind reader.
Sometimes a partner will say, “Well, they should know how I feel, or, they should know better.” While this may be true, we do not want to fall into the habit of making assumptions.
Keep in mind that individuals come from different backgrounds, values, and beliefs systems.
Therefore, what makes sense to you, may not be a concern for your partner. Your spouse could have come from a family where chivalry is constantly demonstrated; whereas, your family may have demonstrated quite the opposite.
There is no right or wrong, it’s a matter of difference.
However, communicating your needs and expectations will ensure your spouse understands and is connected to you in a special way.
So yes, “We teach people how to treat us by the way we respond to them!”
An emotional mind can lead to disaster
Handling conflict in a composed, mature way is conducive for a closer, loving, and healthier bond. Responding to a conflict in our emotional mind can lead us down the road to Disaster!
To be composed during a conflict in relationships, take time to consider the facts, employ understanding, and respect. This, in turn, will help your partner to draw closer to you, in a respectful, loving way.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Kimberly Bozeman