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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Relationship Partner Conflicts: How Are You Affected, How Do You Resolve Them?

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Author Topic: Relationship Partner Conflicts: How Are You Affected, How Do You Resolve Them?
Patricia H
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Just had mine last week, and in the process of being affected by it and working it out with my partner (eventually), thought it would make a good topic to post.

I'm an emotional one. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I realize I'm still at an age where my emotions have better control of me than I do of them. Experience has shown me that if I go to work having just suffered an unresolved relationship conflict, it will show, and it will negatively affect my work performance. I'm getting better, though, at working on it; until I have a good enough handle on my emotions where they won't spill out and onto clients and patients with whom I'm doing business with, I make a point of removing myself from the situation and dealing with it in the privacy of my own home, or at least somewhere far away where I can bawl my eyes out and be as miserable as I want to.

So, baby steps. Unfortunately, I came out of an upbringing that was all about swallowing your sorrows and stuffing those unpleasant emotions down far away into some dark corner somewhere and never talking about it because they're silly and inconsequential, so for me to reverse those habits takes time and momentum. The second step towards relationship partner conflict resolution is verbal communication -- just talking it out. As simple as it is, it's not; it took some time for me to feel safe and secure in the current relationship I'm in now to even open up a smidgen and tell my partner that I'm unhappy about something he did, like leaving the toilet seat up at night, or using the "wrong" tone of voice to ask me something that I wasn't ready to answer at the moment. It's hard to explain to someone who truly loves you and trusts you why you're unhappy if you secretly think the reasons are so stupid that they'll laugh at you or dismiss them altogether and think you're stupid. All those little gremlins in your head, poisoning your thoughts, making you clam up and suffer. But I do it, sometimes with my eyes squeezed shut because I'm too scared to see what my partner's reaction will be, because I want to heal myself and our relationship, and I'm clinging to the mantra that I repeat to myself in silence that I am in a safe place, my partner genuinely cares about me, and the only way either of us is going to know what is going on is if I speak up.

Too, it always helps when even if your reasons do turn out to be silly, that your partner is sensitive enough to not laugh at you for them.

How else does everyone else go about this?

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Posts: 229 | From: Hawaii | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Allie R
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Just last week I discovered the power of the mantra!

Long story short, previous partner = bad, current partner = good. Current partner gives me no reason to think he has an ulterior motive in any of the nice things he does for me, but recently I couldn't help but think that he did. So, I opened up a word document and wrote to myself, and ended up repeating a line which really got the message across.

It really worked because it was more of a me-problem; it was all in my head. I do always try to talk to him whenever I have a problem that really involves the two of us, and I actually did talk about THIS problem with him, but really, I was the only one who could change the way I was feeling.

So yeah! The power of journaling is real.

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AAR

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Sympatheia
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Hello, first post here! And I think this is a great topic idea. [Smile]

In my case, I'm the sort of person who feels the need to talk out my problems; I simply implode if I have no outlet to discuss them. I have a strong desire for rationalization, and I use other people as my sounding board. I tend to assume everyone else feels likewise.

However, my SO is the sort of person who decides "I am not in a good place to be with people right now" and so he'll request some alone time. This alone time can last anywhere from an hour to a week in its duration. He'll usually spend it exercising, reading, cooking, or meditating. I leave him be until he's ready to enter the world of human beings again.

When we are both frustrated about something, I have to remind myself that he's not in the place to talk rationally with me, and that it's best to give him the space he wants. I then seek out a friend to speak to, and wait until he's ready to come around before we discuss what the problem at hand was. At this point, he's more calm and willing to engage in conversation, and it tends to go a lot smoother on my end as well, since I've aired things out with a third party.

In my situation, I feel the need to be cautious especially, as my SO is dealing with a lot of emotional stress at present in his family. His father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it's been difficult for him to watch. Sometimes my SO is moody, particularly after visiting home, and I remind myself he has the right to be. Anyone, anyone at all, would be reacting to the pain of someone they loved, and I don't begrudge him that.

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