Welcome to the Cooperative Couple's Conflict Guide. Go ahead and make an assumption that you have conflict in your relationship, which means you are just like me and everybody else. My hope is that by going through this guide, either by yourself or with your partner, or having your partner, and you do it separately, that you will gain some tips and some insights into how to go through those really rough moments with the least amount of turbulence and damage.
Before we get started though, I wanna clarify the difference between cooperative conflict, problematic conflict, and what I would call relationship conundrums problematic conflict. Let's start There is when we are at odds with our partner for some reason, whether it's about an unmet need or a difference in perspective, but we're struggling to get together.
We're struggling to get in sync and move forward around some topic. in our conflict. Instead of taking the high road of finding ways to cooperate, receive, attune, listen and reconnect, we take the whole road, I like to call it throwing feces, where we start to enter that more primitive defensive space where we're accusing, we're attacking, we're defending, and rather, Getting closer to reconnection.
We actually are getting further from reconnection. I'm gonna be adding things to the conflict docket, like now we have to have a conflict about the way we handled the conflict. That's exhausting when we are in that destructive form of conflict. Cooperative conflict is when we come to understand that conflict is a place for discovery.
You have. Some form of a roadblock that is trying to teach you something about you, about your partner, or about your relationship. The start of a cooperative conflict always involves calming our bodies because we hold a cognitive awareness that the person I'm in conflict with right now is my tweet heart.
They're my Tweety bird, they're the person I love, I wanna snuggle with and be intimate with. They are special and important to me, and so I want to treat them with a level of dignity, patience, and grace, and assume the best of the both of us together and of the person who you are having the conflict with.
So many people grew up in situations where it seemed like the only options in conflict were to win or to lose, to dominate or submit, to be heard or be. And what I want you to know is that in a secure relationship, you can learn how to have conflict without doing damage. I'm so glad you're here. And by the way, just making this whole.
guide shenanigans. It's been good for me. It helps me remember, okay? Yes, yes, yes. Eli. These are the things we go back to. I want you to hear that this isn't just, oh, you learn it and it's easy. Like this is challenging stuff. You have to practice it and practice it, and practice it and come back to it and get it into a habit in your relationship and in your mindset.
Now, let's talk called conundrum. Your partner. Having a serious addiction is not a conflict. It's a con. Your partner being abusive to you physically, emotionally, sexually, financially. Not caring about what you feel or what you need is not a conflict, it's a conundrum. Your partner, being in a manic state or a depressed state, or having some form of organic mental illness that is currently untreated is not a conflict.
It's a conundrum. Your partner cheating on you or soliciting sex outside of your relationship in some way that you have not agreed. Is not a conflict, it's a conundrum. I wanted to state those things very clearly to you all because this is not a conundrum guide. If you are in one of those scenarios, or one that maybe I haven't described or mentioned, it won't matter how well you learn how to have cooperative conflicts because the thing that you are facing is a conundrum, meaning it's something that you can't change.
You can ask your partner to change or address, but you don't have any control or influence over. And last little note before you start the learning process is that if your partner doesn't want to cooperate with you, This won't work. It's kind of weird to tell you all, all the things I don't think this guy will do.
Let me tell you some of the things I do think it will do. Help you learn to stay more grounded in those triggering moments. Lots of different skills on how to listen and reconnect, and really simple, practical ways that you can prevent yourself from going down the low road and instead enjoy. The still complex scenery, but less scary scenery of the high road of cooperative conflict.
So glad you're here.
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- There are three types of conflict: cooperative conflict, problematic conflict, and relationship conundrums.
- Cooperative conflict involves working together to understand and learn from the conflict, rather than attacking or defending.
- Relationship conundrums, such as addiction or abuse, are not conflicts and cannot be changed through cooperative conflict.
- The guide aims to help individuals stay grounded in triggering moments, listen and reconnect with their partner, and prevent destructive conflict.