Conflict # 38 – Roadblocks

Kristie and Dustin argue daily. About everything. Money. Child-rearing. Family relations. They fuss and fume, never get anywhere, and can’t figure out why.

You know Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Every conflict contains obstacles to resolution. In order to improve your conflict resolving skills, doesn’t it make sense to identify the obstacles?

Let’s look at some of them. These may look familiar, if you’ve read previous posts.

Kristie needs time to think; but Dustin wants to fix the problem right now. She refuses. Dustin is relentless. He follows Kristie around the house, not letting her off the hook, telling her she’s a coward. She yells at him to leave her alone, he says, “Fine!”, dashes to the car and roars away into the night.

Another roadblock: Dustin sees the problem as a bigger deal than Kristie does. This is not unusual. Dustin feels more distressed than Kristie does, and deserves to be heard. Kristie may be minimizing, and Dustin may be making a mountain out of a molehill. That is irrelevant. The person who is most troubled ought to have all the time and space he/she needs to express frustrations and upsets.

Thirdly, imagine this scenario. Dustin is working 12-hour days, waking up at 4:30 a.m. He needs to be in bed by 8:30. And wouldn’t you know it? That’s just when Kristie wants to talk about their conflict.

Number Four: Stubbornness. Refusal to yield. Insistence on being right and having the last word.

Five: The tension reaches a boiling point and either Dustin or Kristie gives up … and the list goes on.

If you’re unable to resolve relationship conflicts, invite the other person to identify the roadblocks. Don’t talk about the conflict itself. Just start, one by one, to eliminate these roadblocks, and only then start to address the conflict.

If you’re unsure how to get started, call me for a free consultation at 219-309-3928. I’d be glad to be of assistance.

Thanks for reading!