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5 smart ways to manage conflict in relationships

Dealing with relationship fights

Stock image of two people in a disagreement

Too much time together with your partner can bring about frequent conflicts, the 2020 pandemic proved it.

In fact, relationships and family therapists reported having had to deal with the issue of increased conflicts more than ever before.

So how should you handle those frequent fights you are having with your partner?

Kenyan family therapist Grace Kariuki shares some tips that can bring peace and harmony to your relationship, especially when circumstances force you to be together for longer periods of time.

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You will not always agree with your partner because you both think differently. Instead of focusing on those differences that bring about conflict, focus on the good things about your partner and your relationship.

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For the sake of peace and harmony at home, you both need to choose to be nice to each other. It’s a decision you make for the well-being of your relationship.

“Intend to forgive quickly and to let go of offenses quickly. If the pain is too much, reach out for help from a professional counselor, pastor, or a trusted friend. Find ways to process your feelings and thoughts so that you don’t project your anger to each other or the kids,” Grace advises.

This will help you to come up with a solution even before the problem comes. For instance, you already know that your partner might be stressed if; their job is very involving, if they've recently received some bad news, or even due to financial worries.

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As a good partner, show that you are concerned and be empathetic. Ask them how work is and talk about their struggles without getting defensive.

Couples are increasingly being encouraged to utilize and understand taking some time away from each other. Sometimes it may also be important to take some time out of an argument and return to talking it out when you've had time to process your emotions and thoughts.

If the conversation is getting hot, instead of walking away or keeping quiet, please try to say, ‘I am feeling triggered and afraid if we continue to speak, I will say things I don't want to say. Please let me take a break, we can talk about this at a later date.’ Then, make a point to return to the conversation when you are less angry or frustrated,” the therapist advised.

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Grace advises that both parties must be willing to take care of themselves to reduce emotional stress. This involves learning how to deal with your own anger and stress, doing things that lift your mood and spirit, and, avoiding negativity.

Making yourself a happier person contributes to making you a better partner.

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