Here is my personal story about how to resolve relationship conflict:
By now you’ve probably realised that I sometimes like to share personal stuff about my life and relationships and I tend to write more about my past than my present, although today I wanted to share a fresh and personal relationship incident with you.
Firstly, I am dating a really great guy… the only kind of man any woman should be with!
We care for each other, we get each other and we desire each other, and like every one else, sometimes we have to resolve conflict… not that I like to use the word “conflict”! More like mini hiccups or miscommunication…
For those of you who are familiar with my Never Lose Him program you will know that when faced with a relationship “hiccup” I generally look for patterns rather than one off incidences…
This doesn’t mean I don’t try and resolve relationship conflict straight away, although I normally won’t make a mountain out of a molehill and until someone’s behaviour is looking like a pattern I tend to wait and softly observe what happens (that is… unless they do something that is a deal breaker, like; abuse, lying or breaking the law).
So back to my story…
Yesterday a pattern with my man started emerging, and it’s taken about a month for this “pattern” to reveal itself…
Quite a few times he said that he will do something specific – each time he was the one that suggested to do these things, it was not a request from me in any shape or form… and even though he ultimately got there, he was very delayed in actioning these things.
He works in a very male dominated world. The guys tend to tease each other if they call their girlfriends, wives or the women they are dating…
These BOYS say stupid things to each other like; you’re under the thumb, grows some balls mate… don’t call her yet man, make her sweat…. it’s like they’re still in high school! Not that my guy buys into all of that, although you get the idea that this is not very healthy if you’re wanting to cultivate a loving and intimate relationship…
So on Friday he said he’d call me during the day to work out a plan with me, he didn’t call until early evening. A month before that I was driving from Sydney to Brisbane and he said he’d call in the morning to make sure I was safe and to say hi and he didn’t call me until after 6pm, by that time I had already driven 10.5 hours and had arrived at my destination. There were also three other similar incidences….
(Please note: These things may not seem like a big deal, at the same time they are significant because I value someone who keeps their word, which makes for an honest, safe and intimate relationship. I was not upset about it, I was clear that I have boundaries around how I relate with the key people in my life.)
Before our open chat last, which ended up being a moment of truth, I hadn’t directly shared with him that this was something that was bothering me. I kind of made some jokes about it. He seemed to get the idea, yet it was still happening…
I’d like to clarify that I do know that little hints don’t tend to work with most men, although I wanted to see if he took the lead from my little comments….
The answer was a clear NO! (as I share in Unlock His Heart, hints tend to go unnoticed or a man will interpret these hints as “nagging”)
Last night we were chatting and he was telling me about his sister who was getting messed about by a guy. The guy had asked her to make herself free for an all day date and he didn’t contact her at all… she was upset and he was telling me what his advice to her was…
… this discussion provided the perfect segway for us to talk about the mini-challenge I was having…
The funny thing was that I didn’t have to bring it up…. he actually asked me if there was anything that he does that bothers me and that’s when we started talking about the “flakiness”. He was open to talk about it, in fact he did most of the talking as he already knew the issue.
What’s important is that I did not make him wrong, I shared what was important to me and I let him explain his reasoning, I listened and understood what was happening for him, etc.
This is the bit I love….
He said to me that he knew that he’d stuffed up at the time. He also said that the guys at work give him grief and to keep his personal life private and to avoid the blokey barrage and bull, he left contacting me until he was able to speak without having Man-Boys breathing down his neck and he also wanted to be able to speak with me properly (without being in a rush)…
He then also said that he was loving that we could talk about it and he wants to make sure that he doesn’t do it again.
He also said that this conversation gave him confidence to be able to talk to me about other things, and knowing that I am approachable and open gave him faith that we’ll be able to resolve relationship conflict at any time. (***IMPORTANT*** I did not blame him, give him an ultimatum, I was open to understanding and finding a solution and I spoke gently and from the heart)
We did talk more about him living his life and not getting caught up with the games some men play with each other. We also worked out ways to communicate more effectively if he’s really under the pump and struggling to keep to his word.
And to clarify – he really isn’t one the Man-Boys, he doesn’t play games at all, although because he was avoiding the “boy bull”, inadvertently he was still making poor relationship choice…
In a nutshell, it was a great conversation and we understood each other so much better and we now feel closer.
The reason I shared this is because, when someone is committed to you, he will work with you! SIMPLE!
All you need to do is:
- Be mindful of timing – Don’t bring it up while he’s watching his favourite sporting game or when he’s had a terrible day. Try and segway into another conversation.
- Speak from the heart and a place of learning – Be inquisitive and express yourself from a place of wonder. The schoolteacher tone does not work with men (or anyone really)!
- Work out a plan together – Find an agreeable solution, let him give you his perspective and let him speak.
- Acknowledge him – Thank him for being open to talking about it, also let him know what you like about your man. Even if you’ve just started dating this works very well.
I hope this helps you to resolve relationship conflict and some of the “stickiness” we sometimes face in the hands of love.
Don’t be scared of communicating! It’s not so scary. It’s liberating when done effectively!
P.S. Please tell me what you think about this topic. I love to read your comments and to hear about your personal experiences (see below).