Conflict happens and it happens to us all. We are all broken people so we will mess up; we will hurt each other. But what matters is how we handle it. Do we address and resolve the problem or do we shutdown and run from the issue? We all are responsible for our part in conflict in our relationships. Couples that come for counseling are often in conflict or are not solving conflict like they'd like. Therapy helps identify unproductive patterns in conflict resolution and create new, healthy patterns. The way a couple handles conflict can strengthen or deteriorate a relationship. Couples who disagree appropriately, share feelings honestly, listen to one another's perspectives and offer validation will move through conflict well. It doesn't mean there isn't pain or upset feelings, but they are productive in working it through. These couples come through the conflict closer together and more confident in their relationship. They are also healthier individuals. When conflict isn't addressed productively, individuals feel misunderstood, alone, bitter. This leaves a relationship tattered and struggling. There are small but significant steps to making conflict resolution more productive. For example, using "I feel" statements. "I feel hurt because our plans weren't honored." "I'm sad that you forgot our anniversary." When we start with "I" and choose not to jump straight to blame, we are choosing a healthy and productive start to resolving conflict. Counseling can help you identify unhealthy patterns in conflict and you can find new productive ways of relating!