tools about language



Mar 24

1/9 Ignorance is never a foundations for Conflict Solutions

When partners have not learned to be real with each other, a sense of dullness sets in. 19conflict1

Here are our couple later in the week:

Priscilla: “So how was your day, Mickey?”
Mickey: “Oh, OK.”
Priscilla: “Wasn’t today the day you were going to ask for that raise in pay?”
Mickey: “Huuummmm, yes.” (absently minded)
Priscilla: “So ….what happened? (looking out the window)
Mickey: “I’m waiting for a better time.” (Sidestepping her real question)
Priscilla: “Have you given up then….? (Voice raised)
Mickey: “Where we are going for dinner then? (Avoiding any further conflict)
Priscilla: “Why have you changed your mind then?”
Mickey: “Ahh, haven’t …..”
Priscilla: “Don’t you think ….”
Mickey: “Let’s not talk about this anymore.” (growing angry)
Priscilla: “OK, OK, OK ….what ever….” (equally angry but biting her tongue to stop the words.

Both walk out the door, ignoring the other.
So our couple continue down the path of resisting any conflict, afraid of the consequences. The fear of approaching anything meaningful follows their evening, despite the deepening feelings for each other.

Surprisingly, most couples do not realise that failure to level with each other brings long term, divesting results. Avoiding conflict becomes an entrenched defence against the fear of being hurt. Pretending, holding in anger and frustration is damaging. For some, giving into the temptation of trying to subtly control the other adds the quicksand of deceit.

Not talking about issues before more commitment happens adds more levels of protective pretence as more emotions rise higher. Buried frustration, unspoken expectations and unmet needs feed the sense of insecurity. tighter each grasp for their own way or for hiding their angers, more and more hurt enter their relationship.

Deeper anger begins to ‘bleed into’ other situations. Because Mickey didn’t follow Pricilla’s advice, she felt unheard. Her response was to try harder. Wasn’t that the way her Mother had handled her dad and even her brothers? Both began to hide away their real feelings and frustration until one day, hiding the issues under the rug will trip them up. Relationships and marriages prospects have ended with less tension.

So what’s the answer? Only learning to handle their friction and hidden agenda openly can they grow into true intimacy. This again is the goal of these posts. So continue to join us.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author


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