Series: Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview)

Why Do We Fight About the Little Things?

December 2, 2013 by Sean Slevin — Intended Audience: ,

This is Part 1 of 5 in the series Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview).

Video Why Do We Fight About the Little Things

Video: 5 Minutes

Sometimes we have conflicts with those close to us (especially our partner) that seem disproportionate to the actual circumstances (e.g, an intense fight about the TV remote). We might wonder about our self and/or our partner, “Why is this such a big deal?” And we might be tempted to minimize things because we don’t (yet) understand what is going on (with us and/or our partner). However, if we’re fighting about it, then something is bothering one (or both) of us. The key is learning how to take those fights that seem to be about “nothing” and turn them into opportunities to learn more about the unidentified something that is needing to be worked through.

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How Can Couples Prepare for Future Conflicts?

December 9, 2013 by Sean Slevin — Intended Audience: ,

This is Part 2 of 5 in the series Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview).

Video How Can Couples Prepare for Future Conflicts

Video: 7 Minutes

If you are a new couple (i.e., newly dating, engaged or married), and you have an awareness that relational conflict is a part of life, it can be desirable to try to find ways to prepare for those future conflicts. Nobody likes pain, and so if we can do things now to reduce future pain, that is appealing. I do think that we can do growing in the present that does positively impact our future conflicts. However, where we can get into trouble is when we focus primarily on trying to somehow prevent or avoid future conflicts–that actually ends up “feeding” our fears rather than helping us build the muscles we need for navigating conflict constructively.

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Knowing When You Need to Address an Issue

December 16, 2013 by Sean Slevin — Intended Audience: ,

This is Part 3 of 5 in the series Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview).

Video Knowing When You Need to Address an Issue

Video: 3 Minutes

There is a wide range of how bothered, or not, one can feel about the imperfections of life, oneself, one’s partner, etc. An important skill to develop is how to discern which issues are important to give time and energy to working through.

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Can Relationships Be Repaired (and When Is It Too Late)?

January 6, 2014 by Sean Slevin — Intended Audience: ,

This is Part 4 of 5 in the series Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview).

Video Can Relationships Be Repaired and When Is It Too Late

Video: 4 Minutes

I am periodically asked if relationships (particularly marriages) can be repaired. Thankfully, the answer is Yes! The core requirement is that both parties still want to repair the relationship, or at least are still open to repairing the relationship. Sometimes one or both parties can be in a period of uncertainty, where they are trying to figure out their feelings regarding whether or not they still want to work on the relationship. Though that is usually a difficult season (for both parties), even in those times the door is still open to healing and reconnecting.

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Advice for Newlyweds: Don’t Forget Who You Are

January 13, 2014 by Sean Slevin — Intended Audience: ,

This is Part 5 of 5 in the series Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview).

Video Advice for Newlyweds Don't Forget Who You Are

Video: 3 Minutes

In our culture we tend to place undue pressure on the marriage relationship, filling it with expectations (conscious and unconscious) that this relationship (and our partner in particular) will meet all of our needs. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is how this default approach to romantic relationships inadvertently leads to a loss of self.

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