Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

2 Physical Reasons Not to Avoid Conflict

A typical question I get asked is, “Why can’t I just avoid conflict? It makes me uncomfortable. If, for example, my mother is driving me crazy, can’t I just ignore her? Or, if I get too upset talking to my ex over visitation, can’t I just ignore him?” Questions like these can be answered by looking at the consequences of avoidance. Your physical health may be affected.

Obviously, you can choose to ignore conflict and make it through life. People do it all the time. For example, your mother-daughter relationship won’t fall apart if you ignore conflict with her once in a while. But a pattern of ignoring conflict can hurt relationships. Avoiding is not the best choice or a way to grow your relationships.  The “I don’t want to rock the boat” attitude may work in the short–term, but not in the long-term.

A number of studies point to physical problems when people choose to avoid conflict. One study noted that while people feel better avoiding at the time of the conflict, they don’t feel better the next day. In the study, physical symptoms and negative well-being were higher the day after the conflict in conflict avoiders than in people who confronted problems. In other words, the impact showed up after the fact.

In another study, researchers at the University of Michigan looked at conflict as it relates to longevity of life. They concluded that people who deal with conflict live longer. Specifically, they observed that when both partners in a couple relationship felt unfairly attacked and suppressed their anger at the other, they died earlier than couples who communicated their anger. In fact, having a good fight with your partner may keep your marriage alive. Keep in mind that out of control fighting is not recommended! That type of fighting ruins a relationship.

There is an exception, a time when avoiding conflict might be best. This involves confronting someone who can physically hurt you. When someone is so angry and cannot calm down, and you are at risk for a physical altercation or explosion, a time-out or break is recommended. You can’t deal with conflict, nor should you, when someone is physically threatening or unable to get control of his or her emotions. At those times, the parties involved need to wait until they are able to calm down and  until it is safe to confront.


 

 


Sources:

Birditt, K.S. (Oct 2010). Marital conflict behaviors and implications for divorce over 16 years. Journal of Marriage and Family. 72 (5), pp. 1188-1204

Marital Pair Anger Coping Types May Act as an Entity to Affect Mortality: Preliminary Findings from a Prospective Study (Tecumseh, Michigan, 1971-88). Ernest Harburg, Niko Kaciroti, Lillian Gleiberman, M. Anthony Schork and Mara Julius. Journal of Family Communication. Volume 8 (2008). doi: 10.1080 / 15267430701392172.

 

Previous Posts

10 Ways to Resist Sex Outside of Marriage
Sean Lowe, made famous by the reality television shows The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, was known as the Virgin Bachelor. But Lowe makes no apologies for his desire to wait until marriage to have sex with the woman he wanted to marry. Recently, he spoke at Liberty University's convocation 

posted 6:00:59am Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy
He sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken.  She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, "I don't love you and want out," hit hard.  He never saw it comi

posted 6:00:05am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Take the Quiz: Do You Love Money Too Much?
Money, money, money...The OJays sang about it, reminding us us what people will do for the love of money-steal from their mother, rob from their brother, lie, cheat and don't care who they hurt or beat, etc. In Matthew, Jesus tells us that you can't love money and God. He chided the religious le

posted 6:00:17am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A School Success Measure More Important Than Intelligence
These days, parents seemed consumed with their children getting high test scores. The belief is that high test scores predicts academic success. But a new study suggests that parents should put their efforts elsewhere--in developing the personalities of their children. With more concern about wh

posted 6:00:29am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

One Way to Facilitate the Feeling of Love
Rosie is a little anxious about her first date with Sean. We all know how important first impressions are when it comes to finding love. After a few outings at a local coffee shop, her feelings of attraction were obvious. The setting was intimate, soft  music played in the background and th

posted 6:00:15am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.