Health & Wellness

Learn to Resolve Conflict in a Marriage or Relationship

Maria Sikoutris-Di Iorio, Hellenic Therapy Center

Most people believe that in a healthy relationship, conflict does not exist. This is not true. It is necessary to have conflict since no two people are alike.  Avoiding conflict  rather than discussing problems in a respectful manner can build up until one is ready to explode.  

Constructive conflict permits no mention or questioning of the basic foundation on which the relationship rests. In a constructive marital conflict, neither spouse raises doubt about the presence or degree of commitment or fidelity nor whether there is mutual love and respect. 

Threatening words such as separation or divorce have no place in a constructive marital conflict. Some couples interrupt, roll their eyes, and rehearse what they’re going to say next instead of truly listening and attempting to understand their partner. Once the foundation of any relationship is called into question, the conflict turns destructive.

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Constructive conflicts are safe and productive. They produce new agreements based on deeper mutual understanding. Constructive conflicts, unlike those that are destructive, reach an endpoint in the form of resolution.

People pleasers try to avoid conflict. Avoiding conflict can be related to conflicts in the past or your upbringing. Chronic conflict avoidance through people pleasing can be destructive. Overcoming your fear of conflict and learning new ways to confront in a healthy way are essential in a good marriage. Many people pleasers fear conflict and feelings of anger. They have a desire to be liked, therefore, raising conflict or dissatisfaction, is unheard of and instead withhold their thoughts and feelings ending up resentful toward their partner.

Couples who can weather problems and develop effective solutions generally experience confidence that they are able to resolve their issues, grow stronger in their relationships, and experience true intimacy.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, (567 Park Ave., Scotch Plains), we have a team of professionals who specialize in marital/couple. Individual and family issues. Visit us at or call 908-322-0112. We are available day, evening and weekend hours. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

Editor's Note: Hellenic Therapy Center is an advertiser of TAPintoSPF. For information about advertising, contact

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