Maybe I had better explain what I mean.... :)
It's something curious I have noticed in the last few months... You'd never guess.
There is no relationship without conflict. Got that? Maybe I had better repeat that. There is NO relationship without conflict...
The measure of a good or bad relationship is not "How much or how little conflict is there?" Rather, it is, how do you deal with the conflict. There are a number of different ways of dealing with it.
1. Ignore it.
2. Hope it goes away.
3. Stubbornly stand your ground.
4. Pass it off as the other person's fault.
5. Complain to someone else about it.
6. Talk to the other person and try to work the problem out, lovingly, understandingly, and gently.
I'll give you just one guess as to how many of these actually work. And if you are wondering why I listed them in that order, just go read them again. If you've been through any relationship, you'll likely see that I have listed them in a sort of chronological order. First the tendency to ignore it, and hope it goes away, at the same time still clinging to your position like a bulldog with lockjaw. All the while convincing yourself that it is the other persons fault, and that if they were reasonable they would apologize. Then, because they probably don't, start complaining to someone else about it... Finally, hopefully, you realize there is only one way to work it out and solve the problem.
Now, maybe this isn't exactly the way it tends to work for you. Now you may never consider some of those so called 'solutions'. But do you actively pursue number 6?
It took me a while to realize that unresolved conflict is like having a knife stuck in your side and having it twisted every now and then. But resolve that problem, and it leaves the relationship so much stronger than if there had never been any conflict. Hence the title for this post. Down is up. Conflict can bring you closer together with the person you love, but only if you work on it. Don't ignore it, don't blame the other person (Whether they are to blame or not, is not the issue).
See, I've made every mistake on that list, several times over. And short though our relationship has been so far, I've seen how destructive all but one of those listed ideas can be. They will tear a relationship apart, inevitably, surely, and probably very slowly. But why let that happen?