It is perfectly natural that you and your partner don’t agree on every last thing. Some things are more important to one person than the other and those disagreements are solved easily by one person giving in to the other. But what happens when it seems that both people have a stake in the outcome, don’t want to give in and things don’t seem to be moving forward?
Sometimes if you can identify the source of the conflict it will help you to figure out what you need to do to come to some sort of agreement.
Here are some common sources of conflict as explained in the book “Measure and Manage Stress” :
Individuals are interpreting the information differently.
(He merely wants to eat, she wants a romantic dinner)
Goals are incompatible
(One person wants to spend, one person wants to save)
Personal space boundaries are being violated
(Assuming the other person wants to be intimate, lack of privacy, no alone time)
Role boundaries are unclear
(One person wants traditional male/female roles, the other person doesn’t )
Old wounds haven’t healed
(Harboring resentment can cause a person to be easily irritated and ready to fight)
The problem is not the problem
(When you argue about something little and unimportant, but you really need to have a major discussion)
You probably don’t want to fight, and your spouse or significant other probably doesn’t either. Take a minute to step back from the emotional situation of the disagreement, and see if you can’t work out a solution after you identify what the problem truly is.
SOURCE: Kindler, H.S. & Ginsburg, M. (1994). Measure & manage stress. Menlo Park: Crisp Publications.