Perpetual Conflicts–Perpetual Headaches

2 Apr

A concept I often bring up in couples therapy is the idea of “perpetual conflicts.” These are those pesky arguments that seem to resurface over and over again–without much progress toward resolving them.When people get “stuck” in these perpetual conflicts, I often have them draw one big circle with a small circle inside. The inside circle is filled with “non-negotiables”–things that person WON’T budge on. Keep in mind, this is a very small circle!untitled (37)

The outside circle is filled with “negotiables”–things that person WILL compromise on. Naturally, this is a bigger circle to illustrate that, yes indeed, we need to be flexible about some things in order to end the perpetual conflicts once and for all.

Then, there are always those perpetual conflicts that are just that–perpetual. No amount of conflict resolution will solve them, and that’s O.K. These are conflicts in which both parties just have to “agree-to-disagree.” And, let’s face it-just about every couple has them. As long as these conflicts don’t spiral out of control or pose a safety risk, I say-have at it!

So, even though perpetual conflicts seem to cause perpetual headaches, they’re actually not that unhealthy. But, there is a cure for some of them!



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