Article Archive

December 2018 (10)

November 2018 (2)

October 2018 (4)

September 2018 (1)

August 2018 (2)

July 2018 (2)

June 2018 (2)

May 2018 (9)

April 2018 (3)

March 2018 (4)

February 2018 (2)

January 2018 (6)

December 2017 (1)

November 2017 (9)

October 2017 (8)

September 2017 (4)

August 2017 (4)

July 2017 (4)

June 2017 (1)

May 2017 (3)

April 2017 (4)

March 2017 (1)

February 2017 (2)

January 2017 (1)

December 2016 (5)

November 2016 (3)

October 2016 (5)

September 2016 (8)

August 2016 (6)

July 2016 (2)

June 2016 (1)

May 2016 (2)

April 2016 (8)

March 2016 (17)

February 2016 (2)

January 2016 (19)

December 2015 (7)

November 2015 (30)

October 2015 (47)

September 2015 (39)

August 2015 (36)

July 2015 (59)

This Week's Top Stories

  1. Letting Go of Struggle.
  2. Understanding The Rolf Method of Structural Integration in 7 steps
  3. What is Infertility?
  4. Waking Up Refreshed
  5. Muscle Activation, My Story
  6. Is Cotton Wool Scarier Than A Spider?
  7. Statistics and History of Orphaned Children
  8. Reflexology - What to Expect
  9. A Life Coach or life guide does what, exactly?
  10. Are your emotions holding you back?
Rachel Lebus

Managing conflict in relationship

Posted by Rachel Lebus

1051 Days Ago

Relationship is the Issue

“For one human being to love another, that perhaps is the most difficult task of all” (Rilke)

Behind many clients’ issues coming into therapy is the question of Relationship; we are biologically created to live with others, and yet relationships can very often bring pain and distress. The fact that they can also bring joy, companionship and even love is the reason we go on trying. But what to do when things get stuck? when we keep on getting into conflict, or trying to avoid conflict; when we feel hurt, wronged and angry and we cannot change (or change our partner)?

As an important first step in learning how to manage difference or potential conflict, I recommend doing a Body, Feelings, Mind check. This means getting to know what is going on when we are triggered; we take stock of ourselves by taking time out from the situation, and observing what is going on

  • In our body: we may feel ‘butterflies’ in our stomach, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, tight throat, jaw or fists, raised shoulders.
  • In our feelings: we may feel anxious, irritated, hurt, furious, jealous, scared.
  • In our mind: we may think ‘it’s all my fault’, ‘it’s all their fault’, ‘he’s just like my father’, ‘I need her to see my point of view’, ‘she’s idiotic’, ‘he’s so selfish’, ‘this is hell’ etc.

We then need to calm our system down. Our body is in a fight/flight response, even over a ‘minor’ situation, we are programmed to react like this from our days in the wild, but this reaction does not serve us any more. It takes up to 20 minutes for the response to calm in the system, providing we are not obsessing about the conflict, but distracting ourselves.

When we come back together again, we state what we need and do not blame or criticise the other. We don’t try to win the argument – we can win the battle, but eventually we will lose the war this way. If we truly follow this, very often a third way will open up that we had not thought of before, when all we could see was ‘your way’ versus ‘my way’.

As conflicts become less overwhelming, the relationship can start to feel safer, trust can build and intimacy can blossom. I have seen this happen with many clients’ relationships over the years. Take heart, it won’t happen overnight, it takes several months to change an old pattern of behaviour, but with a commitment to doing things differently this shift can happen.


Rachel Lebus

Article written by Rachel Lebus - Oxford

About me
I am a Relationship counsellor, registered with UKCP. I offer a half-price initial session.

My practice is in a lovely studio near Summertown, in North Oxford. There is parking outside, and I am a three-minute walk from the bus stop with buses going to the centre of Oxford.

My work draws... [read more]


View Profile

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

© Find a Private Tutor Ltd, 2014 / View our Privacy Policy / Website by Simon Hix.