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Chronic Unresolved Conflict in a Relatiionship?

Sometimes we choose rather than to address an ongoing unresolved issue in a relationship to just avoid bringing it up out of a belief it will cause more stress to bring it up.  There are pros and cons to this.  Some issues are minor and because we recognize that none of us as human beings are perfect and that all of us have our own issues we just decide to let it go.  Often this is a loving thing to do – “Love is patient, love is kind.” …. “it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… It always protects”. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NIV).  However, if something repeatedly continues to evoke strong emotional reactions (whether expressed or suppressed) it is likely to be an indication of something that should be addressed.  This is where an understanding of healthy communication/conflict skills become very important.  Otherwise, the conflict can erode the relationship and put the relationship at risk.  Most difficulties within a marriage can be resolved through fostering constructive open communication that involves working through an issue without falling into the 4 apocalyptic horsemen of criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling which Gottman & Silver 1999 in their book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work suggest can over a period of time destroy a relationship.   http://emapdrschulz.com 

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George O. Schulz, Ph.D.


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