In any relationship, conflicts are inevitable. This is because it occurs naturally. Indeed, some conflicts end up making the situation better as views from both sides are incorporated. However, there are negative conflicts that are caused by personal interests in a relationship without considering the other person’s point of view or attitude. Such conflict results from negative behaviors from one of the partners in a relationship. Evidently, when spouses are involved in a conflict, they will always find a way of resolving their differences (Johnson & Roloff, 2000). As a result, the method chosen to resolve the conflict will determine whether the condition will be aggregated or resolved.
Communication is a key tool in resolving conflict of any kind especially in relationship. Conflict communication requires strategic use of communication codes to get the right messages, which will trigger the two parties reach a situation of compromise (Baym, 2007). It is such communication, which brings about a higher relational satisfaction during periods of conflict. Such communication may involve the use of face to face communication, phone communication or texting of messages.
A number of reasons have been known to cause conflicts in relationships. Some of the causes include the following: firstly, lack of understanding within a relationship. Normally, when people are in a relationship, they have to encounter a number of challenges (Baym, 2007). This calls for sacrifices and understanding of which its absence can result into a conflict. Secondly, cheating and extramarital affairs also bring about conflict in relationships, which may be caused by sexual relationships or physical attraction (Kenny & Acitelli, 2001). Generally, lack trust in a relationship may also cause conflicts as either of the parties will be feeling insecure, which may prevent partners from sharing feelings (Kenny & Acitelli, 2001). Thirdly, egos may also constitute to conflicts. This is brought about by a situation where by one of the partners may be egocentric or self-centered. Such a character will only care about his or her interests not caring about the other partner (Baym, 2007). Other factors known to contribute intimacy conflicts include faulty expectations, family issues, lack of intimacy, and affection.
According to Knobloch & Solomon (1999), 90% of relationships have conflicts from time to time. As earlier stated, some conflicts bring about positive effects. Management or resolution of conflicts is very important as it fosters the growth of relationship. The process of solving a conflict in an intimate relationship should be based on a number of tips as follows. The use of both text and face to face communication should strive to ensure that these tips are upheld in their endeavors. The conflicting couple has to identify what the argument is about. It is after identifying such an issue that the couple can proceed to the next phase (Vangelisti & Young, 2000). This also assists the couple to determine whether the issue is a minor or major one. In addition, they should deal with one issue at a time if the issues are many. Trying to accomplish many issues simultaneously will fail. The couple will have to deal with one problem at a time before proceeding to the next phase. When communicating, the partners should take turns (Guerrero, L. et al., 2011). This enables each party to present his or her grievances without overlapping of messages. The other party should be listening or reading the message. Use of positive language should apply in solving a conflict. This will help to bring about an atmosphere of calmness characterized by respect and peacefulness.
Consider a multiple choices to problems and give compromise a preference in solving the conflict. To achieve the above tips, strategic communication will have to be used to solve conflicts. This also applies to the couple texting so as to solve their conflicts. The face to face situation has a sense of personal touch, which may include non-verbal cues like the use of gestures and facial expressions (Vangelisti & Young, 2000). Face to face communication also gives a chance to monitor reactions of the other party and reinforce understanding of information. On the other hand, use of texts lacks personal touch. This is very kernel to intimate relationships. Luo & Snider, (2009), argue that face to face communication is the most natural one. Anything outside that is unnatural. This signifies how face to face communication is important in solving conflicts.
Face to face communication is synchronous, which allows immediate feedback that is a very important aspect in solving disputes between couples. On the other hand, use of texts is asynchronous in that there is no immediate feedback. On this perspective, both modes of communication have their strong points. According to Sprecher & Hendrick (2004), various modes of communication are more beneficial as they allow more reflection and reconsideration of messages. This will allow individuals in an intimate conflict to avoid re-read their messages so as to avoid hurting one another. Face to face communication is transient and speakers have less control over what they say what makes them vulnerable to hurting their partners (Luo & Snider, 2009).
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