How to Manage Conflict

Reprinted from PN March 2004

Resolving differences should be a priority. Here's how to do it.

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Conflict and arguments are inevitable in any close relationship. How the couple manages disputes determines the relationships stability. Handling conflict is a skill that can be learned, but it requires practice, discipline, and self-control.

In this article, Dr. Stanley Ducharme, who contributes PN's quarterly column Sexuality & SCI, gets specific about what you can do to manage the conflict in your relationship. Included in his recommendations are:

Acknowledge that both people contribute to the conflict.
Say what you feel, not what the other person is.
Keep your pride out of an argument.
Don't try to control your partner.
Focus on the present and don't drag up unresolved problems from the past.
Don't shout during an argument.
Don't enter a conflict when alcohol is a factor.
Understand that not everything can be resolved.


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