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We all stumble, face communication hiccups, and engage in occasional disagreements. Recognizing the potential impact of these challenges on our relationships is crucial, as it allows us to proactively address and manage them.
In this article, we will explore practical strategies for navigating conflicts and challenges in romantic relationships. By understanding their effects and acquiring effective tools for addressing them, you can foster a stronger, healthier relationship.
When it comes to handling conflicts and challenges in relationships, effective communication is a game-changer. Discover the power of communication with our ultimate guide on communication in relationships.
What are common relationship problems?
Relationships are a mixed bag of joy and complexity. While they can bring immense happiness, they also pose significant challenges. From navigating the intricacies of communication to dealing with clashes over personal habits, relationships often encounter a variety of issues.
Here are some of the most common conflict topics that couples face, according to a recent study from 2021. 1
The quality of our relationships with others can be greatly influenced by the quality of our conversations. 2 Clear and effective communication is essential for a strong relationship, but it’s often where many people struggle.
Problems can come from differences in how we communicate, misunderstandings, or difficulties in expressing thoughts and feelings. These challenges in communication play a significant role in the overall dynamics of our relationships.
2. Personal habits
Each individual brings their own unique set of habits to a relationship, and sometimes these habits clash. For example, differences in spending patterns, alcohol use, or nagging tendencies can become recurring sources of conflict. 1
Navigating these personal habits is key to a harmonious relationship, emphasizing the importance of understanding, compromise, and respect for each other’s individuality.
Respecting each other’s individuality also means respecting each other’s boundaries.
The division of household chores is another common relationship problem. 1 Disagreements may arise from varying expectations regarding responsibilities, differing approaches to cleanliness standards, or imbalances in the distribution of chores.
Unequal distribution of responsibilities often leads to one partner feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of, resulting in frustration and resentment. To avoid these issues, it’s important to discuss expectations early on and come up with a system that works for both of you.
Money has the potential to create conflicts within relationships due to its influence on various aspects of our lives. Disagreements can arise when partners hold different financial values and attitudes, such as opposing views on saving versus spending. These differences can lead to ongoing arguments and conflicts.
Furthermore, financial imbalances or disparities in income can generate feelings of inequality or dependency, which may impact the overall dynamics between partners.
Parenting often becomes a conflict topic in relationships as it brings together individuals with different upbringings, beliefs, and expectations. Disagreements may arise from varying parenting styles, disciplinary approaches, and decision-making regarding children’s education and upbringing.
Navigating parenting issues requires patience and respect for each other’s values. It also requires the willingness to compromise and come up with a parenting plan that works for both partners. If you’re struggling with parenting issues, seeking help from an experienced family therapist can be beneficial.
Making decisions together can be a difficult task that couples often struggle with. Whether it’s making significant life choices or everyday decisions, two individuals’ needs and desires don’t always align. This can lead to conflicts and difficulties in reaching a consensus, impacting the overall harmony of the relationship.
Additionally, decision-making can become problematic when power imbalances exist within the relationship. If one partner consistently dominates or controls the decision-making process, it can lead to feelings of inequality and resentment.
7. Spending time together
Spending quality time together is vital for nurturing a happy and healthy relationship. 3 4 The amount of time couples spend together in a romantic relationship can have a significant impact on their dynamic and overall satisfaction. Spending too little or too much time together can both present challenges and potentially become problems within the relationship.
When couples spend too little time together, it can lead to feelings of disconnection and loneliness. However, when couples are constantly in each other’s presence without sufficient personal space or independence, it can lead to feelings of suffocation or being overwhelmed.
Ultimately, finding the right balance between spending time together and maintaining individual space is essential for a healthy long-term relationship.
8. Physical intimacy
Sex, while an integral component of many romantic relationships, can sometimes evolve into a source of conflict due to several reasons. The root of this conflict often lies in the differing needs, expectations, and levels of desire between partners.
Everyone has their unique sexual rhythm, which can be influenced by factors such as health, stress levels, personal beliefs, and past experiences. When one partner desires more or less physical intimacy than the other, it can create feelings of rejection or dissatisfaction.
Often problems also arise because of the failure to express one’s desires and needs. Open communication is key to resolving such conflicts. If physical intimacy has become a source of conflict in your relationship, consider seeking help from an experienced couples counselor or sex therapist for guidance.
9. Screen Time
Excessive screen time often takes away from the emotional availability and attentiveness required for effective communication and bonding. 5 This often results in reduced quality time between partners, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship.
It can also foster feelings of neglect, as one partner may feel less prioritized compared to the other’s digital world. Thus, setting boundaries around screen time is essential for avoiding potential relationship problems.
10. Expectations about roles
Role expectations within a relationship often revolve around who is expected to perform certain tasks or responsibilities or how each partner should behave based on societal, cultural, or personal beliefs. These expectations can become a source of conflict when they are unexpressed, mismatched, or rigid.
For instance, one partner might expect the other to handle all the household chores, financial responsibilities, or emotional labor without having a clear, open discussion about it. This can lead to feelings of unfairness, resentment, or being overwhelmed. In essence, when expectations are not flexible or openly communicated, they can stifle individual growth and create tension between partners.
11. Time Management
Time management, or more accurately, the lack thereof, can become a significant point of contention in relationships. Each partner has their own commitments, such as work, hobbies, friends, and family, which need to be balanced with the shared time that nourishes the relationship.
When one or both partners struggle to manage their time effectively, it may result in insufficient quality time together, leading to feelings of neglect or detachment. On the other hand, a partner may perceive the other’s desire for personal time as a rejection, misinterpreting the need for individual space as a lack of interest.
Furthermore, poorly managed time can also disrupt practical aspects of life, such as shared responsibilities, plans, or even daily routines, causing frustration and potential conflict. Essentially, time, as an invaluable resource, requires careful coordination and mutual understanding to ensure a relationship thrives.
8 common causes of relationship conflicts
Conflict is an inevitable part of a relationship, but understanding its common causes can empower couples to navigate them more effectively. By gaining awareness of these common triggers, you can proactively address them, foster open dialogue, and strengthen the foundations of your relationship.
Here are 8 common causes of relationship conflicts:
1. Poor communication
Communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship, and when it falters, conflicts can arise. reference10 Poor communication can manifest in various ways. It can show up as ineffective listening, where one partner feels unheard or misunderstood.
Another common issue is a lack of clarity, where messages are not clearly conveyed or understood. This could be due to ambiguous language, assumptions, or failure to express thoughts clearly. For example, one partner might say they’re fine when they’re actually upset, expecting the other to intuit their true feelings.
Difficulties expressing emotions and needs is another significant aspect of poor communication. Many people struggle to articulate their feelings, particularly when those feelings are negative or uncomfortable. This can lead to a situation where important emotions or needs remain unexpressed, creating a disconnect between partners. It can also result in pent-up emotions that might explode in a heated moment, causing further conflict.
When communication breaks down in these ways, it can result in a host of problems. Misunderstandings can multiply, leading to feelings of frustration, resentment, or confusion. Issues may remain unresolved, leading to a buildup of tension and conflict. In worst-case scenarios, partners may start to feel emotionally distant or disconnected, as they’re unable to understand or empathize with each other’s experiences.
2. Different goals and expectations
Different goals and expectations in a relationship refer to what each partner wants for their future. This could include plans for careers, personal growth, lifestyle choices, and big life events like getting married or having children. However, if these goals and expectations don’t match up, it can cause problems in the relationship.
If these differences aren’t addressed, it can feel like you’re growing apart or moving in different directions. That’s why it’s important for partners to talk openly about their goals and work together to create a shared plan for the future that respects both their individual goals and their relationship.
3. Financial disagreements
Money matters, often seen as a practical aspect of life, can become a deeply emotional issue and a significant source of conflict in romantic relationships. Disputes may arise from a multitude of factors, each uniquely intertwined with personal beliefs, values, and experiences surrounding money.
Differences in spending habits can be a common trigger for financial disagreements. One partner might be more inclined towards frugality, priding themselves on saving and bargain hunting, while the other may lean towards spending more freely, valuing experiences or material possessions. These contrasting financial attitudes can lead to friction, with each partner potentially feeling that their approach is the ‘right’ one.
Financial responsibilities can further complicate matters. This could include debates on who pays for what, how shared expenses are divided, or how much each person contributes to savings. When there’s a disparity in income, these discussions can become even more complex as partners navigate the delicate balance between fairness and feasibility.
4. Trust issues
Trust forms the foundation of a healthy relationship. Individuals who trust their partners more tend to handle relationship difficulties in a more positive, constructive, and caring way. They approach challenges with a mindset that focuses on finding solutions and understanding their partner’s perspective. 11
On the other hand, individuals who have low levels of trust in their romantic partners tend to have a more negative outlook on their relationships. They may be skeptical of their partner’s intentions and have a pessimistic view of their actions. Instead of employing strategies that promote a healthy and stable relationship, they engage in behaviors that can be harmful or create instability in the relationship. These behaviors can include suspicion, doubt, and an unwillingness to give their partner the benefit of the doubt. 11
5. Different levels of sexual desire
Discrepancies in sexual desire between partners can create conflicts. When one partner has a higher or lower libido than the other, feelings of frustration, rejection, or neglect can arise.
Research shows that during the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, where everything is exciting and fresh, sexual desire usually reaches its peak. However, as the relationship evolves and partners become more secure and comfortable with each other, this intense desire tends to decrease. 12 Consequently, it’s normal that there will be times when you and your partner are not on the same page sexually.
6. Unresolved past issues
Past unresolved issues can have a significant influence on relationships, often resurfacing in unexpected ways and impacting the dynamics between partners. These may include lingering conflicts that were never fully settled, past traumas that continue to cause distress, or emotional wounds that haven’t completely healed. These remnants of the past can act as triggers, sparking recurring disagreements and preventing the process of healing and moving forward.
Unresolved issues influence a person’s perceptions, reactions, and interactions within their relationship, often in ways they might not consciously recognize. For example, someone with unresolved issues from past relationships might overreact to certain situations, misinterpret their partner’s actions, or project past fears onto their current partner.
7. Differing beliefs and values
Conflicts in a relationship often emerge when partners’ beliefs or values that are integral to their individual identities don’t align. These differences can span a broad spectrum, from choices about diet or exercise to deeply ingrained cultural or religious beliefs.
Each person brings their unique background, experiences, and worldview into a relationship, and these individual qualities can clash in unexpected ways. Learning to appreciate and accept the differences between you and your partner is key to resolving conflicts that arise from differing needs, beliefs, or values.
8. Personal growth and change
Throughout life, individuals undergo continuous growth and evolution, a process that can sometimes stir up conflicts within relationships. Personal interests, goals, or priorities are not set in stone and can shift as one navigates different life stages and experiences. When such changes occur, it can create friction within a relationship, particularly if partners are not in sync with each other’s growth trajectories or fail to support each other’s evolving aspirations.
It’s important to allow room for personal development within the relationship. This means recognizing and respecting each other’s individuality and understanding that personal growth does not inherently threaten the relationship but can enrich it. It involves finding a balance where both partners can pursue their individual aspirations while nurturing their shared bond and goals.
3 types of relationship conflicts
While there are endless things couples can argue about, there are common kinds of relationship conflicts many people face. Here are three common types of conflicts that can arise in a romantic relationship:
1. Communication conflicts
Communication conflicts in a relationship refer to problems or challenges that arise from miscommunication, misunderstandings, or differences in communication styles between partners. They can range from small misunderstandings to more significant issues that impact the overall dynamics of the relationship.
For example, couples may experience communication conflicts if one partner tends to communicate in a direct and straightforward manner while the other prefers to be more indirect and subtle. This can lead to difficulty understanding and interpreting each other’s intentions, ultimately leading to conflict.
Moreover, a lack of communication can also be an issue, leading to one partner feeling unheard or ignored. Remember, good communication is key to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. reference9 So, it’s important to engage in regular dialogue and be open to listening to your partner’s point of view.
2. Power struggles
Power imbalances can have a big impact on the dynamics and overall well-being of a relationship. In romantic relationships, power struggles can occur when one partner holds more influence or control than the other. This means that they have a stronger say in making decisions and shaping the relationship. These power dynamics can change over time, depending on various factors.
Research suggests that individuals with more power tend to be less willing to make sacrifices than those with less power. 6 This can be attributed to a greater self-focus and a stronger inclination to prioritize personal outcomes. Relatively self-focused people consider incurring costs or making sacrifices for their partner only when it benefits them. 7 These power dynamics can create conflicts and tension within the relationship, as the less powerful partner may feel disregarded or unfairly treated.
It’s important to remember that fostering equality, respect, and open communication is essential for a healthy and balanced partnership. So, if you’re noticing a power struggle in your relationship, it’s important to address the underlying issues and find ways to create a more equitable partnership.
3. Sexual conflicts
Navigating the sexual aspects of a relationship can be challenging, especially in long-term relationships. For example, conflicts may arise when partners have different needs and desires regarding sexual frequency. These conflicts can be particularly challenging to resolve, often ranking among the most difficult types of conflicts within a relationship. 8
Successfully navigating sexual conflicts in a relationship involves open communication, empathy, and compromise. The key is to find a middle ground that respects both partners’ sexual needs and boundaries.
Consider seeking professional guidance, such as couples’ therapy or sex therapy. A trained professional can offer a safe space to explore and address the underlying issues contributing to the problems. They can provide expert insights and tools to help you effectively communicate, understand each other’s needs, and find resolutions that promote sexual satisfaction and emotional connection.
5 effects of conflict and stress on relationships
Conflict and stress can have profound effects on relationships, shaping the dynamics and overall well-being of couples. 19 Understanding these effects can shed light on the importance of effectively managing conflicts for the overall health of your relationship.
Here are five key effects that conflicts and stress can have on a romantic relationship:
1. Communication breakdown
Conflicts and stress can often lead to a breakdown in communication between partners. The tensions and heightened emotions can make it challenging for partners to engage in effective dialogue. Instead of expressing thoughts and feelings constructively, individuals may become defensive, resort to blaming, or shut down altogether. As a result, misunderstandings and misinterpretations become more likely, leading to further escalation of arguments and deepening the conflict.
It is crucial to recognize and address communication breakdown early on in order to prevent a disconnect between partners. To break the cycle of communication breakdown, it is important to actively work on your communication skills, including active listening and expressing yourself in a non-judgmental way.
2. Reduced physical and emotional intimacy
One of the notable effects of conflict and stress on intimacy is a decrease in sexual activity. The strain from unresolved conflicts can dampen sexual desire and arousal, leading to a decline in sexual frequency and satisfaction. The emotional disconnection resulting from conflicts can create a sense of distance between partners, making it challenging to foster the closeness and vulnerability necessary for a fulfilling sexual relationship.
Beyond the physical aspect, conflicts can also impact emotional intimacy. When conflicts persist, partners may feel hesitant to open up and share their deepest thoughts and feelings, fearing judgment or further conflict. The lack of emotional connection can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and dissatisfaction within the relationship.
3. Reduced relationship satisfaction
Conflict, when managed poorly, can harm a romantic relationship. Research has highlighted the detrimental effects of negative communication on relationship satisfaction. Couples who engage in negative communication patterns, such as expressing hostility, criticism, or making demanding statements, are more likely to experience reduced levels of overall relationship satisfaction. 20
It is, therefore, important to be mindful of how you communicate with your partner. Opt for constructive strategies that promote understanding and respect, such as active listening to each other’s perspectives and seeking common ground instead of attacking or blaming.
4. Negative impact on mental health
Conflict in romantic relationships can have a detrimental impact on mental health for several reasons. Ongoing conflicts have been linked to heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression and difficulties carrying out day-to-day tasks. 19
Therefore, it is crucial to address conflicts in relationships promptly and effectively to minimize the negative impact on mental health.
5. Negative impact on physical health
The effects of conflicts in romantic relationships extend beyond mental health and can also have a detrimental impact on physical well-being. Chronic stress from ongoing conflicts can contribute to a range of physical health problems, such as an increased cortisol level, a weakened immune system, and a heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases. 19
Consequently, chronic conflict and stress can significantly reduce the quality of life for both individuals within the relationship. To prevent these detrimental effects, it is important to be mindful of how you engage in conflicts and take steps to resolve any differences in a healthy way.
5 ways how to deal with conflicts in relationships
Conflicts are an inevitable part of any relationship, but what truly counts is our ability to effectively manage them. There are various strategies and approaches to help you navigate conflicts in a relationship.
Here are five ways to help you effectively manage conflicts in your relationship:
1. Use constructive criticism
Constructive criticism is a powerful tool for navigating conflicts and has been shown to increase overall relationship satisfaction in the long run. 13 It involves providing feedback and expressing concerns in a constructive and supportive manner, with the goal of fostering growth and resolution.
Instead of attacking or blaming your partner, constructive criticism focuses on the behavior or situation at hand. By using this approach, you can address issues while still maintaining respect and care for your partner’s feelings.
2. Use I-statements
Using “I-statements” is an effective way to communicate your feelings and needs during conflicts in relationships. Instead of blaming or accusing your partner, “I-statements” focus on expressing your own emotions, thoughts, and experiences. This approach promotes open and non-confrontational communication, helping to prevent defensiveness. 14
For example, instead of saying, “You never help me around the house,” you could say, “I feel frustrated when I have to do all of the household chores on my own.” The latter statement focuses on expressing how the behavior makes you feel, while the former is likely to evoke a defensive response.
3. Active listening
Active listening is a vital skill for resolving conflicts in relationships. It involves giving your partner your undivided attention and avoiding interruptions or premature responses. 15
When your partner is speaking, try to listen without judgment. Acknowledge their feelings and respond to them with empathy. It’s also good to paraphrase their words and ask follow-up questions to ensure you understand their viewpoint accurately. 15
Compromising involves finding a middle ground that considers the needs and desires of both partners. This increases the chances of resolving conflicts and creating a satisfying outcome for everyone involved. 16 17
Instead of seeking a “win-lose” outcome, aim for a solution that satisfies both parties to some extent. This requires flexibility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to let go of rigid positions. It may involve finding alternatives, making concessions, or exploring creative options.
By embracing compromise, you demonstrate your commitment to the relationship and the importance of finding mutually beneficial resolutions.
5. Take breaks if needed
Sometimes, taking a break can help defuse heated conflicts and create space for both partners to pause and reflect. This can help you to calm down and approach the situation with a clearer mind when you come back to the argument. 18
Agree on a specific time to reconvene and continue the discussion once both partners have had a chance to reflect and approach the conversation with a calmer mindset. And most importantly, use your time-out to do something that calms you instead of dwelling on the conflict.
How conflict can bring you closer together with your partner
Conflicts in relationships have the potential to bring partners closer together by fostering a deeper understanding of each other. Through open and honest communication during conflict resolution, you gain insights into your partner’s perspectives, needs, and triggers. This increased understanding cultivates empathy and strengthens the bond between you, deepening your connection.
Successfully navigating conflicts builds trust and strengthens the relationship. By engaging in constructive discussions and actively working towards resolutions, you demonstrate your commitment and willingness to address issues together. This process fosters trust as you rely on each other for support and develop confidence in your ability to overcome challenges as a team.
Conflict can be an opportunity for personal and relational growth. It enables you to develop better communication skills and collaborative problem-solving strategies. By navigating conflicts together, you grow as individuals and as a couple, enhancing resilience and adaptability within the relationship. Successfully resolving conflicts promotes emotional intimacy as you vulnerably share your thoughts and feelings, leading to a deeper emotional connection and appreciation for each other’s uniqueness.
Navigating conflicts in relationships can be difficult, but with the right strategies and communication techniques at hand, you can develop healthy ways to resolve any issues that arise. By following the tips and approaches outlined above, you can learn to successfully navigate conflicts together, strengthening your connection and building a secure bond.
FAQ about dealing with conflicts and challenges
1. How do you deal with conflict and difficulties in a relationship?
The key to dealing with conflict and difficulties in relationships is open and honest communication. Some people tend to avoid discussions about hard or uncomfortable topics, but addressing them directly can help in resolving conflicts and overcoming difficulties.
Here are some important steps to deal with conflict and difficulties in a relationship:
1. Recognize and acknowledge the issue
Recognizing and acknowledging the issue in a relationship is a crucial first step toward addressing conflict and difficulties. Sometimes, individuals may be tempted to ignore or minimize problems in the hopes that they will go away on their own. However, this approach often leads to unresolved issues and further complications down the line.
2. Address the issue directly
When addressing an issue directly in a relationship, it’s important to be straightforward and clear in your communication. Research has shown that using direct language increases understanding and improves the chances of resolving conflicts effectively. 21 Instead of beating around the bush or using vague statements, it’s crucial to focus on specific points and express yourself in a concise and precise manner.
3. Express your feelings and concerns
Clearly communicate your own thoughts, emotions, and concerns about the situation. Use “I” statements to express how you feel rather than blaming or attacking the other person. This approach helps prevent defensiveness and promotes understanding. 14
4. Practice active listening
Actively listen to each other’s perspectives without judgment or defensiveness. It’s helpful to take the time to understand where your partner is coming from and acknowledge their feelings. This validates them and reduces tension, allowing both of you to feel heard and understood.
5. Take responsibility for your actions
Acknowledge any mistakes or wrongdoings on your part and be willing to apologize. It shows your partner that you recognize the impact your actions or words have had on them and that you’re committed to making things right. 22
The best way to take responsibility for your actions is by apologizing.
7. Compromise and cooperate
If you’re committed to resolving conflicts and difficulties in your relationship, it’s important to be willing to compromise and work together to find a solution. This will not only help you find a resolution that satisfies both of you but also increase relationship satisfaction. 23
2. How do you break the conflict cycle in a relationship?
Breaking the conflict cycle in a relationship is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship. Here are some effective strategies to break the cycle:
1. Take time-outs
Pause and step away from the situation when tensions rise. Taking a break allows emotions to cool down and gives you space to gather your thoughts before engaging in productive communication. 18
2. Be a good listener
Practice active listening by giving your full attention to your partner. Seek to understand their perspective without interrupting or formulating counterarguments.
3. Use I-statements
Express your thoughts and emotions using “I” statements rather than placing blame. This approach encourages personal responsibility and fosters a non-confrontational atmosphere for open dialogue. 14
4. Focus on the solution
Shift the focus from dwelling on the problem to finding a resolution. Collaborate with your partner to explore mutually beneficial solutions, emphasizing compromise and shared goals.
5. Know your patterns
Reflect on recurring patterns of conflict in your relationship. Identify triggers and behaviors that contribute to the cycle, allowing you to proactively address and break the negative patterns.
6. Seek professional help if needed
If conflicts persist or become overwhelming, consider seeking the guidance of a couples therapist. They can provide valuable insights and tools to navigate challenges effectively.
7. Practice forgiveness
Being able to forgive is essential in breaking the conflict cycle and maintaining a healthy relationship.26 Forgiveness involves letting go of resentment, anger, and the desire for revenge. 27 It is a conscious decision to release negative emotions and free oneself from the burden of carrying grudges.
Do you want to learn more about the importance of forgiveness?
3. What are the 4 conflict styles in relationships?
Conflict style refers to how individuals respond to conflicts in relationships. Five primary conflict styles can be identified based on the degree of concern for oneself and others involved. 24
1. Integrating/collaborating conflict style
The integrating conflict style involves a high concern for both oneself and others, aiming to maximize positive outcomes for all parties. 24 25
2. Compromising conflict style
Compromising behavior falls in the middle in terms of the degree of concern for oneself and others. It involves proposing a middle ground as a resolution. 25
2. Avoiding conflict style
In contrast to the integrating style, the avoiding conflict style reflects low concern for both oneself and others, resulting in minimal effort to resolve the conflict. 24 25
3. Dominant/competing conflict style
A dominating conflict style focuses on achieving one’s own goals, prioritizing personal outcomes over others’. 24 25
4. Obliging/accommodating conflict style
An obliging conflict style, also known as an accommodating conflict style, is characterized by a high concern for the other party’s outcomes and a low concern for oneself, often leading to making concessions to the partner. 24 25
Do you want to know more about the five conflict styles and how they affect your relationship? Check out our article on conflict styles in relationships for in-depth information.
4. What are the 3 types of conflict in a relationship?
While there are more than three types of conflict, there are three common ones that can occur in a relationship: Communication conflicts, power struggles, and sexual conflicts.
1. Communication conflicts
Communication conflicts in a relationship arise from miscommunication, misunderstandings, or differences in communication styles between partners. These conflicts can range from small misunderstandings to larger issues impacting the overall relationship.
2. Power struggles
Power struggles occur when one partner holds more power than the other in a relationship, leading to unequal decision-making and potential feelings of resentment.
3. Sexual conflicts
Sexual conflicts arise when partners have different values or beliefs, which can lead to tension or disagreement. This type of conflict is commonly seen in couples who come from different cultural backgrounds.
Sexual conflicts can emerge when there are differences or discrepancies in sexual desires, needs, or preferences between partners. These conflicts may involve issues related to frequency, intimacy, preferences, or sexual boundaries.
Secrets to a healthy relationship: Books every couple should read
It's no secret that a healthy relationship is key in a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. This list of books about healthy relationships will help you learn how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and deepen your connection. From classic self-help books to more modern reads, these titles will give you the tools you need to build a strong and healthy relationship.
- Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
- Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship
- Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples
- Infidelity Recovery Workbook for Couples: Tools and Exercises to Rebuild Your Relationship
- Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are
- ↑ Meyer, D., & Sledge, R. (2021). The Relationship Between Conflict Topics and Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal of Family Issues, 43(2), 306–323. doi.org
- ↑ Lavner, J. A., Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (2016). Does Couples' Communication Predict Marital Satisfaction, or Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Communication?. Journal of marriage and the family, 78(3), 680–694. doi.org
- ↑ Fowers, B. J., & Olson, D. H. (1993). ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale: A brief research and clinical tool. Journal of Family psychology, 7(2), 176. doi.org
- ↑ Flood, S. M., & Genadek, K. R. (2016). Time for Each Other: Work and Family Constraints Among Couples. Journal of marriage and the family, 78(1), 142–164. doi.org
- ↑ Amichai-Hamburger, Y., & Etgar, S. (2016). Intimacy and smartphone multitasking—a new oxymoron?. Psychological reports, 119(3), 826-838. doi.org
- ↑ Righetti, F., Luchies, L. B., Van Gils, S., Slotter, E. B., Witcher, B. S., & Kumashiro, M. (2015). The Prosocial Versus Proself Power Holder. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(6), 779–790. doi.org
- ↑ Gordon, A. M., & Chen, S. (2013). Does Power Help or Hurt? The Moderating Role of Self–Other Focus on Power and Perspective-Taking in Romantic Relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(8), 1097–1110. doi.org
- ↑ Impett, E. A., Muise, A., & Rosen, N. O. (2015). Is It Good to Be Giving in the Bedroom? A Prosocial Perspective on Sexual Health and Well-Being in Romantic Relationships. Current Sexual Health Reports, 7(3), 180–190. doi.org
- ↑ Abidin, R. Z. (2019). Exploring married Malay couples' conceptions of a satisfying marriage: some implications for the education of family counsellors. IIUM Journal of Educational Studies, 7(2), 73-89. doi.org
- ↑ Young, M. J. (2004). Healthy Relationships: Where’s the Research? The Family Journal, 12(2), 159–162. doi.org
- ↑ Kim, J., Weisberg, Y. J., Simpson, J. A., Oriña, M. M., Farrell, A. K., & Johnson, W. D. (2015). Ruining it for Both of Us: The Disruptive Role of Low-Trust Partners on Conflict Resolution in Romantic Relationships. Social Cognition, 33(5), 520–542. https://doi.org/10.1521/ doi.org
- ↑ Harasymchuk, C., Walker, D. L., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2021). Planning date nights that promote closeness: The roles of relationship goals and self-expansion. Journal of social and personal relationships, 38(5), 1692–1709. doi.org
- ↑ Gottman, J. M., & Krokoff, L. J. (1989). Marital interaction and satisfaction: a longitudinal view. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 57(1), 47. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006x.57.1.47 doi.org
- ↑ Biesen, J. N., Schooler, D. E., & Smith, D. A. (2016). What a difference a pronoun makes: I/We versus you/me and worried couples’ perceptions of their interaction quality. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 35(2), 180-205.
- ↑ Weger, H., Bell, G. C., Minei, E., & Robinson, M. J. (2014). The Relative Effectiveness of Active Listening in Initial Interactions. International Journal of Listening, 28(1), 13–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/10904018.2013.813234 doi.org
- ↑ Reese-Weber, M., & Bartle-Haring, S. (1998). Conflict resolution styles in family subsystems and adolescent romantic relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 27(6), 735-752.
- ↑ Lantagne, A., Furman, W., & Novak, J. (2017). Stay or Leave: Predictors of Relationship Dissolution in Emerging Adulthood. Emerging adulthood (Print), 5(4), 241–250.
- ↑ Mischel, W., DeSmet, A. L., & Kross, E. (2014). Self-regulation in the service of conflict resolution. In P. T. Coleman, M. Deutsch, & E. C. Marcus (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice, 310–330. Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
- ↑ Shrout, M. R. (2021). The health consequences of stress in couples: A review and new integrated Dyadic Biobehavioral Stress Model. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health, 16, 100328. doi.org
- ↑ Overall, N. C., Fletcher, G. J. O., Simpson, J. A., & Sibley, C. G. (2009). Regulating partners in intimate relationships: The costs and benefits of different communication strategies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(3), 620–639. doi.org
- ↑ Overall, N. C., & McNulty, J. K. (2017). What Type of Communication during Conflict is Beneficial for Intimate Relationships?. Current opinion in psychology, 13, 1–5. doi.org
- ↑ Lewis, J. T., Parra, G. R., & Cohen, R. M. (2015). Apologies in Close Relationships: A Review of Theory and Research. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 7(1), 47–61. doi.org
- ↑ Assad, K. K., Donnellan, M. B., & Conger, R. D. (2007). Optimism: an enduring resource for romantic relationships. Journal of personality and social psychology, 93(2), 285–297. doi.org
- ↑ Cann, A., Norman, M. A., Welbourne, J. L., & Calhoun, L. G. (2008). Attachment styles, conflict styles and humour styles: interrelationships and associations with relationship satisfaction. European Journal of Personality, 22(2), 131–146. doi.org
- ↑ Grief, A. P., & De Bruyne, T. (2000). Conflict Management Style and Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 26(4), 321–334. doi.org
- ↑ Fincham, F. D. (2009). Prosocial Motives, Emotions, and Behavior: The Better Angels of our Nature.
- ↑ Denton, R. T., & Martin, M. W. (1998). Defining forgiveness: An empirical exploration of process and role. American Journal of Family Therapy, 26(4), 281–292. doi.org