Kim and I had been married for about 3 years. This one particular Saturday morning, we encountered the worst fight we had ever experienced.. After arguing throughout the morning, we weren’t any closer to resolving it than when we started. We had remained respectful to each other, communicated as clearly as we could and worked hard to understand each other’s perspective, but we were still not even close to resolving our conflict. In fact, it was beginning to feel like we were at war and that the only way to resolve this would result in one of us winning and the other losing. When we were married, we had made a commitment to each other to resolve conflict.

At this point, part of me wanted to resolve conflict, but another part wanted to win this fight. There was a lot of tension between the two of us so we went to separate parts of the house and avoided being in the same room together. Eventually, I went into the kitchen where Kim was, took both of her hands in mine, faced her and said,

“Instead of looking at this as if we are on opposite teams wanting to win, why don’t we look at it as if we are on the same team, working together to find a solution.”

That changed everything. Within a short period of time, we were able to resolve our conflict.

Here’s what I have learned over the years:

  1. Much of our lives are about relationships
  2. There is nothing more difficult and rewarding than healthy intimate relationships although healthy relationships take a ton of work.
  3. A healthy relationship will only happen if both parties are willing to change and grow. That is the only way to resolve conflict in a healthy way.
  4. I don’t like conflict, but I have learned that it is inevitable and necessary, and if conflict is responded to in a healthy way, much good can come from it.

I hope this story will inspire you to pursue growth, and that you will continue to develop the tools for healthy relationships.

With Love,

Tim Fletcher