One of the deepest sources of conflict in a relationship occurs when there’s a breach of trust. When we feel hurt or deceived by a partner, many of us experience a sense of betrayal.
When a rupture occurs in a relationship, be it a lie, a secret, or an acting out of any sort, it’s natural to want answers. Making sense of the story can be an important part of healing. However, the drive to interrogate, asking the same questions, repeatedly seeking reassurance,
or digging for details without reason can be a tool for torturing ourselves and our partner. It also fails to get us closer to the truth or a common understanding of events.
A better approach to take is to invite honesty. The best way to do this is by being open and vulnerable about how we feel. When we feel wronged, our instincts may be to explode, blame, and stonewall our partner.
While taking the time we need to feel more calm and centered is wise and worthwhile, when we do decide to communicate, our goal should be to be honest, direct, and open about our reactions without trying to tear the other person down.
Any two people will hold two totally distinct perspectives on an issue. This doesn’t mean one’s actions are always justified. However, those actions may not mean the same thing to the one person that they mean to the other.
When we’ve exhausted an issue with our partner, and nothing will make us feel better, it’s helpful to explore why we feel unresolved or stuck in our pain. Often, these feelings have to do with our past. When our sense of security is threatened, the specific emotions that get ignited can have a lot to do with our personal histories.
When trying to resolve a conflict, many couples find themselves going around and around in circles. If one person is always blaming and unwilling to forgive the other, it can leave little hope for returning to an equal and loving way of relating.