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One the most common issues that emerges in relationship counselling is an inability to resolve conflict. No matter what issue the fight is about we tend to do the same things every time. We all have behaviour patterns which tend to come to the fore at times of conflict. Some typical examples of how couples fight would be raised voices, angry gestures, blaming, not listening, withdrawing, walking away, sulking and a host of other tactics. These behaviour patterns are usually learned in childhood. We want to win the argument. The thing to remember is that in most cases, if one person wins then very often the relationship loses. It does not have to be this way. The good news is that these patterns can be changed. Fighting is a normal part of a healthy relationship. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advising you to go and pick a fight with your partner. You can't fight so that you'll have a good relationship but people in good and healthy relationships do fight at times. The fact that a couple is fighting is usually a sign that deep down really they love each other, and that the relationship is very important and has the potential to be happy and rewarding. But in order to achieve happiness couples have to learn to fight effectively.

Couples in successful relationships know how to discuss their differences. Some people develop their own ways of resolving conflict long before they come to a marriage or long term relationship and some couples just develop these skills early on as they adjust to each other, often without ever talking about them.

However many couples need to really examine what is happening when they fight and work out better ways that are right for them. Just as every person is unique so every couple is unique. These couples need to develop their own guidelines or rules for resolving issues. What works for others may not work for you. Your own specific personalities and behaviour patterns have to be considered.

A counsellor skilled in conflict resolution can be of great assistance. In my many years experience of working with couples I have been able to help couples to effectively develop their own unique rules. No matter what other problems exist, developing the ability to effectively discuss issues and resolve conflicts is a major step towards a successful outcome.

Further Links:
> Couple Counselling
> Why couples seek Counselling?
> Communication
> Expectations and Attitudes

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