Relationship Conflict - Blow Up or Blow Through

Every now and then I hear a "relationship expert" say that they have never had a argument with their spouse. This is when I find myself thinking this person is either lying or certainly can't relate to me.

Conflicts come to all relationships. It's how we handle the conflict that make the difference between a great relationship and a break up looking for a place to happen.

3 Approaches to Avoid

Blow Up - Blowing up is one of the most common ways to handle conflict, especially for men. Somehow we get the notion that getting mad at something can solve any problem. Maybe blowing up was modeled for us at home, or perhaps anger is the emotion with which we are most familiar.

There's just a couple of problems with this approach. At best blowing up will distance people, and at worst, scares them, even scares them away.

And it doesn't solve the problem either.

Blow In - Blowing in is taking all those yucky feelings caused by conflict and swallowing them, stuffing them inside. Here's the kind of conversation that often occurs:

Partner 1: "How did you like the movie?"

Partner 2: "Fine."

Partner 1: "How did you like the music?"

Partner 2: "Fine."

Partner 1: "Would you like to see it again?"

Partner 2: "Fine?"

Uh oh.

One problem with blowing in is that if you do it as a lifestyle and for a lifetime, it can literally make you sick, even kill you. The body can only take so much poison before it causes damage.

The other problem with blowing in is that anger and resentment will grow and build up. Sometimes for just a few minutes or days, sometimes for years, but an explosion is coming. So blowing in eventually leads to, you guessed it, blowing up.

Blowing Off: This one appears so innocent, with statements from "Hey, it's no big deal" all the way to "Oh just get over it and get a life!"

And yet it's not so innocent.

Blowing off sends at least three lousy messages:

=>you are not understood, =>you don't count, =>your feelings are not important or cared about.

With just one of the above, you've got trouble.

With all three, you've got a breakup looking for a place to happen.

A Better Way to Handle It

Blowing Through - Here's a few quick and easy steps:

1) See the conflict as the enemy, not each other. While it is easier said than done, it makes a huge difference. Seeing the conflict as an enemy from outside the relationship allows you to do two important things:

=>avoid fighting to be right, =>team up and attack the problem together.

2) Identify the conflict. Name it so you can tame it.

3) Nuke it. Throw everything you have at it. All your creativity, silly and crazy ideas, all the skills, solutions and tools you each have, go into knocking this thing out in a way that works for both of you.

And that's not all.

To truly blow through a conflict, you've got one more thing to do...........

4) Set it up so that it's not likely to happen again. When conflicts like this arise again, and they will, you now have a game plan, an "our way" of handling it that allows you to blow right through it.

Jeff Herring is a relationship coach, speaker and syndicated relationship columnist. For more "relationship first aid" visit

Free Quran in All Languages

Free Tafsir Books

How To Develop A Grateful Mind

There is one sure fire medicine that cures all difficulty... Read More

How to Use Humor to Improve Your Relationships

Humor has long been considered one of the most effective... Read More

What Makes The Ideal Man?

Are you looking for the Ideal Man? While my book... Read More

Dumped? Get Set for a New Life

Welcome to Dumpsville. Population - you!You've been dumped for a... Read More

Shattered Visions

Sometimes it takes a girlfriend in order to have a... Read More

Great Relationships: How to Create a Nag-Free Zone

Q: My wife and I have a good marriage that... Read More

Dont Be A Doormat in Your Relationship

There comes a point in every relationship when the person... Read More

What Every Woman Should Know About Men and Romance

Men and women think differently about romance.Men are goal-oriented. They... Read More

Warning Signs He / She May Not Be The One

We've all looked back on past relationships and said, "What... Read More

Your Relationships Begin With You

As a single male in my mid-twenties, I find myself... Read More

Catch a Cheating Lover?

Relationships. Virtually all of us are in one, or at... Read More

Your Next Relationship - Heaven or Hell?

We've all had relationships that we've looked back on and... Read More

Be Glad That There?s Quarrel in Your Relationship

Is your love relationship smooth? Have the both of you... Read More

If You Cannot Make Friends, Make Foes

There are few desires (if any) stronger than the deep... Read More

Great Relationship Advice: The Ability to Resolve Conflict

Conflict in a relationship is both normal and painful. In... Read More

Anniversary Blues

Jamie and Kurt are a sweet, successful couple in their... Read More

Breaking Your Relationship Pattern, Part 1

When you were little, you looked up to your parents.... Read More

Say, Whats On Your Mind, Partner?

Stan is an incurable romantic. Ever since he started courting... Read More

Relationship Conflict: Lock Horns or Lock Arms

One of my favorite comic strips growing up was "The... Read More

Can We Still Be Friends?

Excerpt From The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve... Read More

Getting More From Dating, Romantic Relationships, and Marriage

Romantic relationships happen because of the hopes and dreams a... Read More

Mindfulness and Flirting: Seizing The Moment

Have you ever been called a flirt?Good for you!You see,... Read More

The 4 Stages of a Relationship

1. The Perfect Phase is the first three months. If... Read More

Do You Love Reading The Daily Horoscopes, Part I

Have you ever wondered why you feel an instant attraction... Read More

Hey There, Whats Your Money Personality?

Guys who come up to women in bars and ask:... Read More