Is conflict a healthy expression of intimacy or a harmful barrier? Bunny has something to say.
Things we commonly hear about fighting:
It’s important and healthy to fight because it allows couples to learn how to communicate more effectively.
fighting is necessary because it gets things out in the open
I am curious about this. I know I have heard it so often and surely even said it myself.
These words have comforted me and helped to justify the fighting in my relationships. Fighting that never felt healthy, important or necessary but I assured myself it was something that had to be worked through in order to be in a relationship.
I mean everyone says so. Everyone fights they say. It’s normal. Our parents fought, their parents fought and couples represented in film and television regularly fight.. It’s what all couples do. Or at least it’s what we’re constantly told.
Weird though that we don’t give the same permission to kids in a classroom setting. When a conflict arises we abruptly shut it down, demand apologies and regurgitate messages of instant reconciliation.
Theories of community building suggest that conflict is not only normal and healthy but a vital part of establishing a meaningful and effective “true” version of community.
I would like to share my personal experience.
Our experience and impression of conflict can vary tremendously. Both in my family and in my romantic relationships, mine was largely unpleasant, left me feeling small and scared.
But I endured it because I believed that it was normal and healthy.
Dragon and I have been together for nearly eight years and will be celebrating 5 years of marriage in August. We have never had a fight and I have never felt small or scared. The best part is that I have never been in a healthier, more communicative, loving and safe relationship in my life, without conflict. .
Have we disagreed? Of course!
Did we listen to one another?
Yes of course! But without intimidating, shouting, hurting or diminishing one another.
So, if conflict is defined as a space where there are differences then yes, I agree this is an unavoidable and essential part of the journey but it doesn’t have to cause harm.
That’s the essential thing.
What is your experience of conflict? Has it been a healthy expression of intimacy or a harmful barrier towards it?