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Health And Family

Conflicts are an opportunity for couples to grow

THE SEX ADVISOR - Eppy Halili Gochangco - The Philippine Star

Dear Eppy,

I have been in a relationship for three years now.  I know that all couples fight.  Of course, my relationship with my boyfriend is not unlike other people’s relationships.  So, we do have our fights, but I can still handle them, they’re no big deal for me.  What’s nice about my relationship with my boyfriend is that both of us aren’t too proud.  We both know how to say, “Sorry,” when needed. Sometimes, I find myself a bit too arrogant and will not say sorry even if it is my fault.  Sometimes, my boyfriend feels that way, too.  But in the end, we can talk about it and we end up saying sorry. 

There are times when one would say to the other, “You do know you were being stubborn about the whole thing, right?”  The other would just smile and apologize. 

So, I’m guessing this letter may not be like the others you get.  The other letters I read in your column have issues that are so deep and ugly that I don’t think they can actually patch things up. But I just want to know: Is there such a relationship where the couple doesn’t fight at all?  I know my question is silly, but I really want to know if there is such a thing. 

Ms. Love

Dear Ms. Love,

It’s great that you and your boyfriend are able to communicate well.  This is the reason why the two of you are doing well in your relationship.  It is your give-and-take attitude that helps both of you feel that one is not trying to overpower the other.  Continue doing this to each other and both of you will benefit from it for quite some time.

Addressing your question, there is no such thing as not having fights between two people in a relationship.  There are some couples who present themselves as not having fights, but this is farthest from the truth.  For example, there’s a couple who swears they never fight.  They call their exchanges healthy arguments.  Yet, the couple might be unaware that the people around them are stressed because they are the ones experiencing the conflict between the two of them.  The other family members feel the conflict because one of the partners would talk about the other partner to each member of the family.  Then the other partner would also do the same.  Thus, the impression of the other family members is that there is a conflict between the couple, but they do not say it or admit it.  The family members are quietly made to judge who is right and who is wrong. 

Having a conflict in a relationship may not necessarily be unhealthy.  Conflicts should not be seen as a threat to any relationship.  Instead, they should be seen as an opportunity for growth.  An opportunity for both parties in a relationship to be able to share their views about any topic.  Couples should learn to share their opinions without having to force their opinions on their partners. At the same time, they must learn to listen and see what can be learned from their partners. 

Conflicts can also be seen as an opportunity for both people in the relationship to learn to resolve things between each other.  Conflicts can be an opportunity to compete, argue, debate, without having to hold grudges against each other.

You and your boyfriend seem to be doing this already.  However, since you were not specific about your fights, I don’t know how they go.  But apparently, the two of you came out of all your conflicts without resenting each other.  That’s the best thing that can happen to all couples.

Eppy

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Email [email protected].

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