Learn to know, value and overcome couple conflicts

Learn to know, value and overcome couple conflicts

The human being is a gregarious animal, he needs to interact with others and with his environment. Within interpersonal relationships, we can open a separate section to relationships. We meet on numerous occasions in the consultation, people affected psychologically by a break, for being unable to find stability in their relationships, because they engage in their partners creating addictive models of relationship, for being unable to start a relationship because of the fear that this generates ...

In our interpersonal relationships, our past and present experiences influence. Consequently, we perceive the new events in the same way as the old ones: if I have failed in most of my relationships, if I have become hooked to my partners annulling myself as a person, if I have constant conflicts in my relationship ... in these cases, when facing In a similar situation, the same fears as the previous times will appear again.

There are different variables that affect us both for the choice of the couple, and for the coping with the problems that arise from it. Sometimes, this information that determines the relationships that a person may have and the way he or she has to deal with conflicts, is completely unnoticed. The first step to effectively resolve a conflictive situation is to know each factor and realize how much it can influence the relationship.

Knowledge is the first step to change and conflict resolution.


  • 1 Variables that influence love relationships
  • 2 Couple Conflicts
  • 3 Communication in the couple
  • 4 Expectations, beliefs and ways of interpreting conflicts
  • 5 Dependent relationships

Variables that influence love relationships

  1. Wish: It is perceived as the need to seek sexual satisfaction, sexual fantasies, desire to hug and caress, desire to be hugged and caressed ...
  2. Attraction: The attraction is the desire but basically oriented towards the object of desire. It implies that some person or concrete stimulus (real or fantasized) has “erotic value”.
  3. Falling in love: It's about the sum of desire and attraction. The infatuation although it is lived and felt as a unique and individual experience, is expressed in perceptions, feelings, fantasies and behaviors, which often bear great similarity in the different people in love, even if there are also large individual differences.

Among other variables that influence relationships, it is necessary to talk about SELF-ESTIMATE or what is the same, the concept we have of ourselves: When a person does not support himself, he can get to be the other the to hold it, using it as the only point of support in your life. Without him he would fall, therefore, he needs him for his "survival" daily, thus generating pathological or addictive relationships. Likewise, if our self-esteem is low, our ability to start relationships is diminished, causing fear and insecurity. With regard to relationships already established but that may have conflicts of communication, leisure, passion ..., self-esteem is also related in the sense that if we are not acceptable as people, we can hardly bring strength to our relationship.

Importance of I turn Shaver and Hazan (1987) consider that "the love process can be understood from the patterns of attachment that are formed in childhood and are maintained throughout the life cycle." The history and attachment style are related to the love experience that adults have in this regard: more positive love experience in the case of people who have a more positive attachment history and safer attachment style. Attachment is a relatively stable relational pattern that ends up conforming to one of these 3 fundamental types:

  • Secure attachment: is associated with confident and positive relationships. With more previous autonomy, better selection of partners, more realistic and favorable ideas about love, easier intimacy and commitment, more satisfaction in the bond, better ability to overcome a break.
  • Anxious attachment: it is associated with dependent relationships and continues the need for confirmation that one is loved, difficulties for autonomy, precipitous search and selection, fear of not being loved, fear of loss and frequent jealousy, contradictory ideas about love, difficulty breaking .
  • Avoidance Attachment: is associated with distrustful and distant relationships. With pseudo emotional autonomy, fear of intimacy, difficulty in establishing relationships, relationships with little intimacy, difficulty in emotional manifestations, pessimistic ideas about love, apparent easy breakup, camouflaged insecurity.

Couple conflicts

They appear when in the 2 members there are two motivations of opposite character but of equal intensity. They are the basis of misunderstandings of the relationship and are by far the cause of dissatisfaction, frustration and weakening and even loss of the couple if they are not well resolved. There are some areas of conflict that appear more constantly, such as the distribution of household chores, which provoke unpleasant discussions and situations, but generally do not lead to rupture. There are other sources of conflict that are based on deeper aspects of the couple and it is these that can generate more serious problems. These derive from disagreement in the way of perceiving intimacy, the degree of commitment and passion. Maintaining satisfaction in the relationship requires a great effort on both sides as well as the use of certain skills that help the proper functioning of the same (communication, respect, complicity, passion ...).

Communication in the couple

It is almost unnecessary to mention that good communication is the basis of a satisfactory relationship. Communication is not always verbal since the couple also looks at each other, touches, smiles (nonverbal communication).

Before a situation in which we want to communicate something, the way or way of issuing it, how the other receives it and the content of this message are fundamental. Thus, we find different ways of communicating and some of them are not exactly positive. The coercion”: It is a way of communication where only our own needs are taken into account, making life difficult for the other in the sense that their needs are not taken into account and trying to achieve the submission or cancellation of the other. This is because the member of the couple who gives in does not because he believes that the other is right but to avoid discussion and threats. In conclusion: to escape a conflict. Negative emotional responses ":" are those words, gestures, actions etc., which are experienced as unpleasant: screams, threats, humiliations, sarcasms ... and that on numerous occasions is what keeps a couple fundamentally united.

Among the positive ways or ways of communicating we find ourselves according to Liberman: Verbal expressions: compliments, compliments, affectionate words, compliments ... Behaviors of affection: caressing, holding hands, brushing the cheek ... Actions that make life for your couple is easier or more pleasant: try not to make noise wake you up, prepare a meal you like, make a gift ...

LEISURE AND FREE TIME One of the most frequent conflicts in relationships is the different perspective of both members to organize their free time and social activities. It could be that both have been carried away by daily routine, seized by their respective jobs and daily chores and have forgotten how to have fun. Or because each one seeks their own fun regardless of their partner and / or vice versa: they spend their lives together and do not relate to anyone else. It also happens in young couples that when having a child, the point of view on how to organize social activities is different, since a member of the couple may want to focus solely on the care of the child (leaving the social area aside) and the other demands to try to plan a couple's own time. Be that as it may, the person as an independent individual has their own needs and it is difficult to adapt and combine them with your partner. For example: if I have the need to stay at home on weekends because I really feel like it and I enjoy it, this does not generate any problems for me, moreover, it makes me happy. But as an independent person. Now, if I maintain a relationship where the other needs and enjoys going out on weekends and I do not feel like it, a conflict of interest appears. The way to solve this conflict and the importance or relevance that the couple gives it, goes to depend on the emotional resources, communication, empathy ... of each of the members.

Expectations, beliefs and ways of interpreting conflicts

The ideas that each member of the couple is made in reference to their common life, their coexistence, their future prospects ... sometimes they are a point of conflict since it can happen that the 2 members of the couple do not see it from the same way. However, all this refers to the ideas that each member has about what their relationship should be so that it is totally satisfactory "what it should be and what it really is", being a source of numerous conflicts in the case in which the members do not perceive it in the same way. We will refer above all to how each member of the couple can interpret the problems that occur to them. Interpretations of these motives are what we call attributions. When your partner, for example, does not pick up the table after eating, you may think that: he is a selfish person who always thinks of himself as email protected and who never takes you into account.If you change this approach and you think it is not that it is selfish but in his house nobody taught him and it really is a lack of “learning”…, the reaction that one has towards the other is completely different.

  • Infidelity: In a relationship, not only the internal factors of the same influence (communication skills, future expectations, commitment ...), there are also external factors that directly influence it: work and personal stress of each of the members, the routine, problems related to the environment as family and friends In these moments where the relationship could be lower emotionally, this series of external and internal conflicts of the couple is when the couple is more vulnerable (more likely to happen negative things ). It is this vulnerability that can trigger that another person enters the relationship and then infidelity appears
  • Jealousy: Healthy jealousy involves worrying about the fear of losing the loved one, because he has a real or imaginary relationship with someone. Pathological jealousy is accompanied by intense feelings of insecurity, self-compassion, hostility and depression and are usually destructive to the relationship. In the case of jealousy there is a lot of relationship with self-esteem. If I look strong and confident and have high self-esteem, I will not depend on my partner to always be with me to feel good because I stand alone, I am full of many other things, however, if my self-esteem is low, I feel insecure and The only way to fill myself with security is that my partner is only with me, I will choose to press her and depend on this exclusivity to feel full. Jealousy is based on irrational beliefs: if I think “my partner can never leave me because he knows that if he does, it will cause me a lot of pain, so I would be a bad person”, I am using an irrational thought.

Dependent relationships

In a situation of a relationship, a conflict (problem) can occur, which causes the members of the couple to make 2 decisions: or work together to solve it or break the relationship (sometimes it is a single member of the couple) that makes the decision to leave it). But it can happen that one of the members of the couple chooses to deny the evidence of this conflict, or constantly self-incriminates whenever there is a problem. If this situation of self-incrimination is perpetuated, then there is an inequality of roles in the relationship, where one has more power than the other. He who has less power, is hooked on the other, then producing an addictive relationship since he "needs the other" in a sickly way and is able to cancel and deny evidence just to be with him. The end result is that the personality of the dependent is annulled in that of the dominant, who may or may not be aware of what he does.

Among the dependent relationships we find:

  • Love addiction: Pía Mellody tells us about this disease, which means that those affected assign a disproportionate time to their relationship and a value above themselves to the person they are addicted to, sometimes in an even obsessive way. They maintain unrealistic expectations regarding the positive and unconditional consideration of the person to whom they are engaged. They are neglected
    and underestimate while in the relationship.
  • Emotional dependence: Jorge Castelló defines it as "a pattern of unsatisfied emotional needs since childhood, and that now we are older, we seek to satisfy by finding very close interpersonal relationships." It is a maladaptive disorder that only occurs with the subject on which it depends, so it is less generalized than the previous one, although no less serious.
  • Codependency: Sirvent, defines it as the special relationship established between a person who lives with a drug addict (usually an alcoholic but can also be other drugs). These people overprotect and justify all behaviors of the addict no matter how aberrant they may be.
  • Bidependence: According to Mª Cruz Ribas Reguero, it is “the set of attitudes, behaviors and affections that affect a person who is dependent on a drug and another person at the same time.

Lic. Angela Puglia

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