Conflict in relationships is one of those things that gets a bad reputation. Much like discomfort or pain. We sometimes mistakenly assume that relationships should not have moments of conflict, despair, frustration, discomfort, or pain. It is important that we learn what conflict really means so that we can deal with it accordingly. Typically in couples dynamics, conflict is not usually the problem we face, it is knowing how to deal with it in a way that doesn’t create calamity in our relationships. To have conflict is to be normal. But to avoid conflict, discomfort or pain is to sabotage an opportunity for growth. Conflict is really just growth trying to happen in your relationship.
Imagine you’re happily coupled up in a wonderful relationship that you find satisfying and fulfilling. Now, imagine that your partner tells you they love you, but they’re no longer in love with you, or that they’re seeing someone else, or that they want out of the relationship. How might you feel? Worried? Upset? Devastated? Betrayed? Confused? Angry? Brokenhearted? Now, imagine that you’re naturally anxious or depressed but you are in a relationship with someone who can calm you in the storm, will have your back and support you, can bring you back from the edge, and can understand you even in the midst of your emotional pain. If relationship distress can have a negative impact on our emotional and physical health, can’t it be possible that secure relationships can have a positive impact on our emotional and physical health? Research and revolutionary science of romantic love is now suggesting that secure bonds are vital when we are struggling.