Reducing conflicts in relationships

BY: Arku Jasmine

Conflicts come in many forms – some frivolous, some minor and some majorWe behave like porcupines when we get into relationships. We love to be close to each other but in doing so we prick each other. We withdraw and get back only to get close and hurt each other again.

Romance and conflicts are, therefore, the fabric of all relationships.  No matter how much you love each other, you will fight. You must, therefore, never expect a relationship without conflicts.  Angels do not marry.

Conflicts come in many forms – some frivolous, some minor and some major.  Each day brings its own ‘wahala’ or conflicts. You must, however, appreciate that any form of conflict can potentially destroy your relationship.

Sometimes it is the little things that grow to be big things that destroy your marriage when you least expect it.  It is therefore advisable that you minimise your conflicts so that you can develop your relationship.

Develop a positive mental attitude
Your mind is the most important weapon to reduce conflicts in your relationship. If you see your relationship as good, good things happen and conflicts get minimised.
On the other hand, negative thinking produces a feeling of despair which makes small challenges appear big.

Make yourself happy
Most people get into relationships expecting their lovers to make them happy.  In fact studies show that 80 per cent of women think their men do not make them happy.
Fact is no one, including your lover, can make you happy. It is your positive mental attitude that will give you a higher self-esteem and greater life satisfaction.
You can be happy and control conflicts irrespective of what your lover does or says.

Avoid blame game

You are the most important factor in your relationship. You are part of every problem in your relationship; it takes two to fight and your lover simply reacts to what you do.
See what you can do differently and better. If you want your lover to change for the better,  first change yourself.  If you see your lover as your problem and solution you simply push the issue out of your control and nothing good happens. Acting alone, you can make positive changes in your relationship.

Accept your differences

We are born with our temperaments that have their weaknesses which can be improved but will never go away.
Accepting your differences is difficult but it makes it easy to understand why you act in uncomfortable ways. It then becomes easier not to try and force your lover to change because you only cause more conflicts.

Have a good sense of humour
Laughter is good medicine for the heart. It reduces tension and stress; it creates a sense of closeness and good feeling; it helps you to cope when things are tough and dispels conflicts.
If you develop the capacity to laugh together you minimise your conflicts. Every relationship is tough and needs some lightening up.

Show gratitude
Never take for granted what your lover does – small or big. When you are grateful for the gifts, kind words and support, your lover feels motivated and content.
Studies also show that gratitude leads to other virtues like commitment, compassion and contentment.

Give your lover some space
Spend time alone with friends, colleagues, family members and schoolmates in social activities.
Time away from your lover nurtures your individuality. This brings variety and refreshment. You spice up your relationship and, therefore, minimise conflicts.

Be watchful
Studies show, for example, that 40 per cent of divorces are caused by high conflicts. See yourself as totally responsible for reducing conflicts in your relationship. Be a caretaker and caregiver of your relationship.
Avoid what hurts your relationship. These include selfishness, dishonesty, criticism, immorality, inequality, substance abuse and poor communication.
At the same time, work at what grows your relationship. These include appreciation, mutual respect, support, companionship and unconditional love. Be a burden-bearer, not the burden in your relationship.

By John Boakye/Ghana