Romantic relationships are normal occurrences in all mature individuals. Almost all adult individuals involve in at least a single romantic relationship in their lifetime. Conflicts are one of the features of any romantic relationships and contribute to the termination or continuation of the relationship. As such, individuals in serious romantic relations revere conflicts.
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In an article on the conflict management in romantic relationship, Gilbert (2013) argued that conflicts are occurrences in any relationship particularly between the couples. The most important is the way such conflicts are managed. Most couples or people involved in any romantic relationship fear that conflicts may result in break ups or mistrust that may end in the termination of the relationship.
However, according to Gilbert (2013), conflicts make stronger the relationship bonds and provide an opportunity for scrutiny of the relationship. For such to happen, the couples must understand or have knowledge on how conflicts in a relationship are managed.
According to Gilbert (2013), couples need to be tactical in managing disagreements in their relationships. In addition, it requires an emotional intelligence to manage the conflicts constructively and productively. Gilbert (2013) provides various actions that should be avoided as well as that should be considered while managing the conflicts in any relationship.
According to the articles, moves such as e-mailing an opinion, ambush of the partner, sarcasms as well as self-repeat are the dividing actions in relationships’ conflict resolutions. On the other hand, Attributes such as calmness and openness are uniting factors in the conflict resolution management.
Gilbert (2013) divided the relationship conflict management into several stages. Each of these stages has different actions that may result in unity as well as those moves that create further deviations in relationships. According to the Gilbert (2013), conflict resolution begins by expressing the discontent, which can be done through various uniting or deviating actions. Once an issue has been expressed, it is then debated.
The debating stage is followed by the conclusion and how to deal with the aftermath feelings. In all these stages, there are actions that the couple should take. The central argument is that the actions that bring unity result in strong relations. Therefore, the couples should be careful to take actions that result in strengthening the bond of the relationship.
Many scholars share the view that conflicts often occur not only in romantic relationship but also in also other forms of associations. In fact, most scholars in relationships agree that romantic interactions are prone to conflicts. In addition, the view that almost all mature individuals involve themselves in at least one intimate relationship is shared across the board. According to Frisby and Westerman (2010), majority of individuals involve in romantic relationship at least once in their lifetime and in most of these relations conflict occur.
The findings are also supported by many studies that not only focus in romantic interactions but also in other relationships. Frisby and Westerman (2010) assert that conflicts in relationships occur because of various interactions the couples or individual involve in. In fact, conflicts are inevitable and could not be predicted. The characteristics of conflicts in one intimate relationship are applicable in all relations.
Frisby and Westerman (2010) findings also indicate that conflict management is critical in the maintenance of the passionate relationships. The findings of these scholars are in line with the assertions of the Gilbert (2013) that styles of conflict management determine the future of any association.
The argument is that sound management of conflicts may increase the bond between the couples. Sound management involves constructive and productive engagement. According to the Gilbert (2013), such engagements require emotional intelligence to attain positive results.
However, the way couples constructively and productively engage each other have changed overtime. Though Gilbert (2013) provides methods through which conflicts can be managed, the processes have changed overtime particularly on the communication channels and depend on the situation.
Whereas Gilbert (2013) assets that the channel of communication such as e-mailing of objections poses risk of blindsides in relationships, Frisby and Westerman (2010) argue that advancement in communication technology influences the way conflicts in romantic relationships are managed today.
E-mailing, as suggested, provides an avenue through which partners can easily express their feelings. The application of e-mailing indicates how communication technology influences the manner in which individuals in romantic relationships communicate and express their opinions on issues of great concern.
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Conversely, couples do not only use e-mails but also other internet applications. The impact of internet applications in romantic relationships has increased considerably due to the augmented popularity of the computer-mediated communications (Frisby & Westerman, 2010).
The widespread application of computer-mediated communication technologies provide increased channels through which couples manage and avoid conflicts in their relationships. The widespread application of computer-mediated communication technologies provide increased channels through which couples manage and avoid conflicts in their relationships.
The application of computer-mediated communication such as the use of e-mail is one of the channels through which couples can manage conflicts in their relationships. The assertion is in line with the findings of other researchers particularly those focusing their studies in the effect of modern technologies such mobile phones and internet applications on romantic relationships.
In essence, the choice of communication channel is important in conflict management particularly in romantic relationships. The choice of communication channel is widely applied in long distance relationship where conflict management is often virtually.
Whereas Gilbert (2013) provides advice on the manner in which e-mail can be applied in conflict resolutions concerning intimate relations, Frisby and Westerman (2010) argue that the choice of the channel depend on many factors. Therefore, the way couples will express their disgust, opinion and the way forward as well as the manner in which they deal with the aftermath will depend on choice of communication channel.
Contrary to the arguments advanced by Gilbert (2013), there are other factors determining the type of romantic relationship and the way conflicts are managed in such interactions. In other words, Gilbert (2013) argues that focusing of better qualities, regular hugs as well as sending sweet e-mails is ingredients for avoiding and solving conflicts between spouses.
Further, Gilbert (2013) argues that skills in conflict management are difficult to learn in early stages in life. The assertions that conflict management skills cannot be learnt early in individuals’ life is not true. Contrary to this assertion, researches indicate that skills in relation management including conflict resolution are learnt early in life and from the parents.
Behaviors such ambushing the partner, bitchy e-mails, blindsiding the partner, violent reactions to the bad behaviors originate from the type of relationship the parents of the couples had in their early life. On the other hand, uniting behaviors and attitudes are learnt from the parents. In fact, couples tend to portray the relationship styles they were brought up. Greater understandings of the partner such as making the partner understand the problem are learnt from the parents and peer relationships.
According to Crockett and Randall (2006), the quality of relationship in a family determines the future relationships in young adults. In essence, the family relationship can predict whether the adolescents or the young adults will have conflicts or connectedness in their relationships. In addition, the quality of relationships the parents have predicts the type of conflicting behaviors as well as how such conflicts are managed in the romantic relationships of the younger adults.
Contrary to the belief of the scholars in the article, the conflict management mechanisms in adult relationships are learnt at the early stages in life. The parent and child as well as the peer relationships are critical in shaping the expectations, behaviors and knowledge required in relationships.
The skills and knowledge learnt in these relationships are carried over into adult romantic relationships. In essence, the way young adults will manage conflicts in their relationships emanate from the manner in which they managed their disagreements early in life. In addition, the conflict management in young couples will also depend on the expectations as well as the skills learnt in early relationships.
The conflict management methods including the moves that unite as well as that divide depend on the individual and the circumstances. The understanding of how such moves work on a relationship also depends on the way individual couples were brought up.
Essentially, studies show that there is a direct connection between the adolescents’ internalization of relationship problems and the inter-parental clash management. The manner in which the adolescents and young adults make out and deal with the problems such as the procedure suggested in the article originating from their intimate relationships is associated from what they learnt from their parents.
The suggestions in the articles also contradicts the popular opinions of many scholars that destructive inter-parental conflicts or inconsistencies that are poorly resolved by the parents have negative influence on the children later relationships (Rodrigues & Kitzmann, 2007).
Moreover, the impacts of inter-parental conflicts on the young adults’ disagreement management mechanisms depend on the cognitive evaluation as well as the efficiency in copping up in a relationship. As such, the uniting moves suggested in the articles will only work when the couples’s cognitive apprehensions are high. In fact, the uniting moves can be diving when the couples came from families with violent reactions while resolving their misunderstandings.
Moreover, dividing reactions such as holding grudges during the aftermath stage in conflict management as well as busting the partner in front of the crowd requires greater understanding among the couples. In other words, moves that unite during the aftermath and wrapping up the conflict require intellectual skills that are only determined by the cognitive factors.
The cognitive factors also cannot be delinked in determining the way couples manage their relationships. Studies conducted by Gunther, Beach, Yanasak and Miller (2009) indicate that cognitive factors are important in the manner couples perceive and manage relationships. Most importantly, advise on relationship issues are processed differently and determines individuals’ reactions to the conflict management.
On the same note, Gilbert (2013) argues that management of relationship conflicts requires the application of nice communication channels and actions such as sending sweet e-mails and regular hugs respectively. The intellectual moves will be helpful in managing the conflicts. Therefore, it is critical to consider cognitive factors or intellectual abilities to make moves that result in positive resolutions to conflicts.
In essence, the way individuals process most of the intelligent moves such deciding at own personal level to move on determines the way it will react to the problems that may arise. In other words, cognitive factors are also important consideration in conflict manage regarding intimate relationships. The manner in which an individual understand and interpret issues is critical in the way they will manage their conflicts.
For instance, the manner in which the couples understand the decision by one partner to move on in a relationship determines the future management of conflicts. Therefore, conflict management in any relationship does not only depend on social factors as suggested in the article but also individual mental processes.
Whether the conflict management mechanisms in the article could be extended to the long distance relationships is not specified. The stages and moves indicated in the article are general.
Whether they work in all manner of relationships is not specified. In essence, each type of romantic relationship requires particular techniques of conflict management. In other words, conflict management in long distance relationship may be different from close passionate relationships. However, uniting moves such as the e-mailing are increasingly utilized in long distance relationships.
However, long distance relationships pose a challenge to the couples and conflicts are regular. Managing conflicts under such circumstances is difficult especially in the situations where face-to-face communication is highly required. In long distance relationships, the choice of communication channel becomes critical and necessary. The choice of the channel and the manner in which the message is relayed determines the future of the relationship.
Pistole, Roberts and Chapman (2010) tend to focus their studies on conflict management on long distance relationships. The study indicates that long distance relationship presents unique stressors different from the normal relations. In addition, the stressors are also dealt with in a unique manner resulting into a positive conflict management, which contributes to the maintenance of the long distance relationships.
Long distance relationships are sustained by normative reactions, which are initiated by such factors as apprehension, craving for companion as well as longing for passion. The individuals’ psychological, symbolic and physical proximity provide calm and emotional security, which is significant in the maintenance of the relationship.
In essence, some uniting moves in almost all the stages cannot be applied in long distance relationships. Moreover, couples in long distance relationships should know how to deal with diving moves since long distance associations are prone to such separating moves. In other words, conflict management mechanisms in long distance relationships should emphasize on applicable moves that bring unity.
Most of the relationship scholars and communication consultants agree that romantic relationships occur in the life of all mature individuals as indicated in an article on the conflict management in romantic relationship. In addition, it is agreed across the board that conflicts are occurrences in any relationship particularly between the couples. Moreover, most scholars assert that the way such conflicts are managed is a critical determinant of the future of the relationship.
In the article, Gilbert (2013) argue that most couples or people involved in any romantic relationship fear that conflicts may result in break ups or mistrust that may end in the termination of the relationship. The assertion is also in line with the beliefs of most people. Further, according to Gilbert (2013), conflicts make stronger the relationship bonds and provide an opportunity for scrutiny of the relationship.
However, the manners in which conflicts are managed remain contentious among the scholars. According to Gilbert (2013), managing disagreements in relationships couples need tactical actions. In addition, conflict management requires emotional intelligence to attain constructive and productive solutions.
The article provides various actions that should be avoided as well as that should be considered while managing the conflicts in any relationship. According to the articles, moves such as e-mailing an opinion, ambush of the partner, sarcasms as well as self-repeat are the dividing actions in relationships’ conflict resolutions. On the other hand, Attributes such as calmness and openness are uniting factors in the conflict resolution management.
The article divided the relationship conflict management into several stages. Each of these stages has different actions that may result in unity as well as those moves that create further deviations in relationships. However, as indicated, the methods and moves suggested in the article are not universally applicable. The paper does not fully support the content of the article as suggested by studies of various scholars in conflict management.
Generally, as indicated in the studies, conflicts in any relationships are not resolved by only behavioral and attitudinal characteristics as suggested by the article. Factors such as individual perception, family relations, the geographical distance as well as the channels of communication should also be put into consideration. In fact, the advice on personal relationship management should consider all the factors.
Crockett, L. J. & Randall, B. A. (2006). Linking adolescent family and peer relationships to the quality of young adult romantic relationships: The mediating role of conflict tactics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 23(5), 761–780.
Frisby, B. N. & Westerman, D. (2010). Rational actors: Channel selection and rational choices in romantic conflict episodes. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(7), 970-981.
Gilbert, L. (2013). How to emerge from a fight more in love. Retrieved from: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/a2461/How-to-Emerge-From-a-Fight-More-in-Love/
Gunther, M. L., Beach, S. R., Yanasak, N. E. L. & Miller, S. (2009). Deciphering spousal intentions: An fMRI study of couple communication. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(4), 388–410.
Pistole, M. C., Roberts, A. & Chapman, M. L. (2010). Attachment, relationship maintenance, and stress in long distance and geographically close romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(4), 535–552.
Rodrigues, L. N. & Kitzmann, K. M. (2007). Coping as a mediator between inter-parental conflict and adolescents’ romantic attachment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(3), 423–439.