Conflict in Romantic Relationship

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Georgia Perimeter
Conflict in romantic relationship

Conflicts in romantic relationship

Conflicts occur in our relationship when we find dissimilarities in our opinion. It is very natural that disagreements come to the relationships, and conflicts occur. There are no interpersonal relationships without conflicts (Wood 230). Conflicts may also come in romantic relationships. Now, what is romantic relationship? As Wood says, self-concept, proximity, and similarity are the three main things which have greatest influences on initial attraction. Personal identity is the first thing to observe, then comes the proximity. When people can give time to each other, they may find similarities between them, and those similarities may lead to a romantic relationship (Wood 254). In this research, I’ll talk about heterosexual romantic relationship. Conflict acts as an indicator of interaction between people. When conflict arises in romantic relationship, it necessarily does not indicate the relationship is in danger. However, conflicts may bring problems in our relationships if we fail to manage them properly. Thus, we should know how conflicts may harm in our romantic life and how we should deal with conflicts (Wood, 2002/2003).

How we respond towards the conflicts
There are many reasons that bring conflicts in our relationships. In romantic relationships, one partner becomes angry with other for several reasons. We need to handle the situations very carefully because no one can make us angry other than ourselves. We have our choices in a certain situation; we just need to pick the right choice (Page, 1998). For that, we need to know the responses to the conflicts. There are several ways to respond when conflict occurs. As Wood describes, Westerners response to conflicts can be of four types: 1. Exit response, 2. Neglect response, 3. Loyalty response, 4. Voice response. These four can be classified as active or passive responses, or they can be divided as constructive and destructive responses (as cited in Rusbult, 1987; Rusbult, Johnson, & Morrow, 1986; Rusbult & Zembrodt, 1983; Rusbult, Zembrodt, & Iwaniszek, 1986).

When a person walks out or physically withdraws himself to resolve a conflict, exit response takes place. It may be voice exit, “I don’t want to talk about it”. This response towards conflicts is active and destructive because it is forceful, and it does not address problems. Neglect responses occur when a person does not admit the problems. Such a type of response may be like this “You are complaining too much; I can’t see any problems”. It is actively responded, but it is destructive towards the conflict. Loyalty is a passive and constructive response towards conflicts. It may be expressed by hoping or believing that conflicts will resolve automatically and remaining silent to partner. The last type of response is classified as constructive and active response named voice. When people want to talk about the misunderstandings, active response is occurred (Wood232- 233).

Cramer’s research on conflict style in romantic relationship Cramer has done some research on conflicts in our romantic relationship over the last few years and found that dissatisfaction in romantic relationships is closely related to the differences in opinions and negative conflict styles (as cited in Cramer, 1998). Several other experiments support the point. Many researchers have found negative conflict resolution styles were associated with relationship satisfaction. In one of his research, Cramer has given an example of a 16-item Conflict Resolution Styles Inventory introduced by Kurdek (1994, 1995) that measures styles of problem solving. According to the example, the processes are positive problem solving, conflict engagement,...
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