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The Six Weapons of Relationship Conflict

July 12, 2017

If only we used our words, but unfortunately unresolved relationship conflict can come out in many ways other than verbal. Couples don’t even have to use the same weapons. One may attack with one while the other attacks with another. If you are using any of these as a weapon you may just want to find the right words to more appropriately talk about what’s going on:

  1. Household Chores: How are the tasks of caring for the home is divvied up. Who does what? Who does what the most? Is this by agreement? Are you carrying your weight? Are you deliberately shirking your responsibilities, leaving them to the other person?
  2. Finances: How you handling the money? Is there frivolous or selfish spending? Does one dictate where the money should go? Does one lay claim to the money or is it pooled and shared?
  3. Sex: How often does it occur? Are you both satisfied? Does it feel coerced or is it voluntary?
  4. Free time: Is there any free time? How is it spent and with whom? Are you doing things together or is one or both of you avoidant?
  5. Children: Do we have them? Who takes care of them? Who sets the expectations? How are decisions made affecting them? How do we talk of each other or represent each other to the kids?
  6. Substance use: Are you consuming alcohol or drugs in a non-prescribed way? Does your substance use create tension in your partner or children? Does your substance use interfere in any way with any responsibility? Are you preferring your substance use to time with your partner?

So many couples think that yelling or shouting, name calling or acts of physical violence or intimidation are the only ways couples fight. These six weapons of relationship conflict make for potent battlegrounds where one doesn’t so much as have to raise their voice in order to attack and have their upset felt.

If you find yourself using any of these strategies to let out unresolved conflict with your partner, then it is time to find the right words over weapons if you want to have some semblance of a satisfying relationship.

If you want to begin going in a better direction, you can start by simply telling your partner that you are upset about something. The challenge is to not blame, but explain. This may be a courageous conversation to start. If you have trouble beginning or continuing the conversation then seek couple counseling so the counselor can act as a facilitator.

If you want a satisfying relationship, please do find your words.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

One Comment
  1. If a relation with the right partner then it will make the life easy and if any fight will occur just control the situation from a cool mind and it will have the positive impact on the partner and try to ask the problem why this happen and give some space to the partner.

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