The secret to a good partnership, any partnership, be it a marriage, an enduring lifelong friendship or a business partnership, is to capture the opportunity for greater understanding through the door of conflict.
My thirty-year-old son told me the other day, “Relationships are hard, Mom. While you and Dad had conflict in your relationship and we watched your battles, you never gave up trying for greater understanding.” His wisdom moved me very much; his words have meant a lot to me. As a couples’ therapist, I know the value of conflict when couples are engaged in battle. It is not the fact that a struggle occurs that is the problem. The problem comes from the misperceptions that fire when the primitive brain is engaged. That dang primitive mind is a gross, unrefined and mistuned judge of character!
What to do then, my couples ask? Yes, first is to realize that conflict is an opportunity. Period! Second, understand how and what, not why, brought on the conflict. Then, hone your curiosity and practice the painstaking process of understanding self and other!
The keys to conflict resolution are simple yet challenging to accomplish. Two fundamental ingredients to maintaining an open heart are curiosity and understanding.
Helping couples find their way to the land of curiosity and understanding is my abiding passion.