Most couples have a pretty easy time of it when things are going well. It's when a conflict surfaces that things get dicey. Conflicts come up when partners experience a clash of needs. These differences can involve significant issues over sex, family, or money. Or they may be about less important issues such as what movie to see, what restaurant to go to or where to go to get away for a weekend. Often when partners find themselves facing a clash of needs they do not have a clear-cut guidelines to resolve the difference. Here are the three productive ways to negotiate a conflict of needs.
Capitulation-one of us sees clearly that the issue at hand is not that important to them and so they can easily give in and go along with what their partner wants to do. They do this without any regret or resentment because the issue just isn't that important to them.
Compromise-when neither one of us can easily capitulate we must do the hard work of finding a fair compromise. Compromised by definition means neither one of us will get our way, we both know that we will have to settle for a middle ground. We do this because we know it's good for our relationship to find a place to meet peacefully rather than bicker and argue to try and get one's way.
Coexistence-when despite our best efforts we cannot find that middle ground, we cannot find a good place of compromise we must live with the issue unresolved. In this situation the issue has to be shelved until one of us changes on mind about it, or some change in circumstances makes us see the issue differently. We'll lack to coexist knowing the issue is unresolved but not allowing it to cause distance between us.
Conflicts of need are inevitable in any relationship. Some couples have more of them than others. Knowing these three approaches to settling a conflict of need can save couples The emotional upset of arguing, bickering and blaming that often accompanies these kinds of conflicts.