Conflict Style

Conflict Style - Conflict Style It may well be that the key...

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Conflict Style It may well be that the key skill in all long-term committed relationships is conflict management--certainly the data on relationships suggest this is true ( Gottman 1994 ). The presence of conflict does not determine the quality of a marriage; rather, how the couple handles conflict situations determines the quality of the relationship ( Comstock and Strzyzewski 1990 ). Even beliefs about conflict are more important to marital, happiness than whether or not the two partners actually agree with one another ( Crohan 1992 ). We all know that romantic relationships provide a rigorous test of our skills. Siegert and Stamp (1994) studied the effects of the "First Big Fight" in dating relationships, noting that some couples survive and prosper, whereas others break up. These communication researchers tell us quite clearly that "the big difference between the non-survivors and survivors was the way they perceived and handled conflict" (357). As Wilmot (1995) wrote, "What determines the course of a relationship . . . is in a large measure determined by how successfully the participants move through conflict episodes " (95). One of the ultimate testing grounds for romantic relationships is marriage. Almost all spouses report "occasional marital disagreement" ( Bolger et al. 1989 ; Metz, Rosser, and Strapko 1994 ). For many spouses the disagreements may be only once or twice a month, yet for others they may continue over many days ( Bolger et al. 1989 ). It is common and normal for partners to have conflicts or disagreements, and in fact, managing conflict is one of the central tasks of maintaining a romantic relationship ( Gottman 1994 ). As you might guess, learning to constructively resolve conflict is clearly
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and directly linked to relationship satisfaction. "Findings regarding the link between
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Conflict Style - Conflict Style It may well be that the key...

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