Conflict and anger. How are these handled in your relationship?

Is your relationship happy and healthy?

If so, you are probably handling disagreements and conflict in a constructive way.

Its never easy to confront one’s partner of sensitive and painful issues that come up in our everyday lives. Doing this well requires mindfulness, empathy and respect. However, when faced with problems that evoke hot emotions, many people tend to respond and react instinctively and say and do things in the heat of the moment that they later regret.

In many cases individuals don’t blow up with each other, however one or the other withdraws themselves from their partner and goes into a “sulk” for days or weeks on end. This pattern can be equally damaging as issues don’t ever get resolved and merely get pushed under the carpet.

If this pattern continues unchecked over time, the relationship can be severely damaged, sometimes irreparably if the resultant hurt and disillusionment is so severe that one or both partners decides that they can’t see a future for their relationship.

If you are finding that you and your partner are not dealing well with conflict, it may be a good idea to seek help. Sometimes one of the couple will come for counselling to help them manage their anger and frustration, but first prize is, of course, if both partner come in for couple counselling so that the issues within the relationship can be worked on by both partners. This gives the relationship the best chance to recover and even to thrive.

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Comments (2)

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    my husband and I am on he verge of divorce as we cannot afford counseling but I its getting bad, no he doesnt physically hurt me ,he sulks nothing ever gets resolved and he is rude swears and insults me all the time


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    Welmoet Bok


    Hi Nicky. I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing this negative reaction pattern from your husband. This is a particularly difficult pattern for spouses to work with constructively because of your parter’s tendency to avoid difficult issues.

    Is your spouse open to rational discussions about improving things between you when he is not in an angry mood? Often spouses feel overwhelmed by emotion in a conflict situation and feel unable to control their emotions in order to “think straight”. If this is the case, then a good strategy is to agree to terminate discussions when things become heated and agree to discuss the issue at a later time when things are calm. A date needs to be agreed to, however, as the issue is likely to be”pushed under the carpet” and never addressed unless there is a determination on both sides to address and resolve problematic issues.


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