Bringing Conflict to the Table

Conflict resolution is in fact one of the greatest things that you can accomplish in your life and in your relationship. [W]hen I view people as not bringing conflict up, I think it’s being unfaithful to the relationship. I think it’s an abdication of your role in the relationship, and you are actually hoisting on the other person the responsibility to resolve your conflicts, the responsibility to speak those things out loud, because people go their whole lives never voicing any conflict. Not because there isn’t conflict, but because they’re either too lazy to do it; they don’t have the trust in their partner to receive it. Or they’re just like, You know what? I tried that for seven years and not a damn thing changed and I’m done. And that’s when you get in scary places in your relationship.

When I catch myself not bringing up conflict, I am like, ooh, red flag. It is an atrophy of the relationship—because it’s an investment. [T]he willingness to bring conflict to the table, to make yourself vulnerable, shows a faith in your relationship, an investment in a relationship, a belief that your relationship could be better than it is. And if you do not bring conflict at the table, you are saying, My relationship is never going to get better. It’s going to be the same every day, over and over.

—excerpt from episode 7 of "We Can Do Hard Things," a podcast by Glennon Doyle