Methods Of Helping Your Relationship Overcome Conflicts

Medically reviewed by Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC
Updated March 20, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Conflicts can show up in almost every aspect of a relationship. Common causes of couples conflict include differing core values, opposing attachment styles, miscommunication, or differing views about the world and self.

When it comes to healing conflict in a relationship, it may be helpful to look at the relationship as a project you and your partner are working on together as a team. In relationships one partner is rarely wrong during conflicts, and if you see each other as opponents in a never-ending battle, you may find it more challenging to come to compromises or conclusions.

Not every couple experiences the same types of conflicts. However, many couples can benefit from using online therapy and other strategies to reduce fights, arguments, and other concerns in their relationships.

How To Examine Conflict In A Relationship

To figure out where your relationship conflict stems, it can be helpful to first identify the topics that come up frequently. For example, you may find yourself arguing with your partner about them not doing the dishes.

You can then ask yourself what the underlying feeling behind this concern might be. Are you worried your partner is not carrying their weight in the relationship? Do you feel that they are irresponsible? Do you wish they would be cleaner? Do you feel that they do not respect you?

Knowing the thought process behind your concerns may help you solve them when it comes time to communicate with your partner.

You're Not Alone

Understand The Reasoning Behind Conflict

When a conflict arises within your relationship, there is not always a clearly defined right or wrong answer, it’s more about how you manage the issue. Do you and your partner come to a mutual resolution for the conflict? Or does it remain unresolved and show up at a later date?

Some barriers can interfere with your ability to resolve conflict in your life and relationships. For example, if one or both partner’s behavior includes difficulty managing emotions, communicating with others, and emotional thinking these factors may impact whether a conflict is solved or not. There are several methods of working through these concerns. It may help you to identify them by name.

Here are a few examples of common barriers to conflict resolution:

  • Difficulty with active listening
  • Yelling or shouting to gain control over the conversation
  • Displaced frustration or anger
  • An inability to identify why you are upset
  • Use of degrading language, name calling, and intimidation
  • An inability to be accountable for your part in the conflict, making an assumption that your romantic partner has the “wrong answer”
  • Difficulty expressing your thoughts or feelings with words
  • Often getting off-topic or bringing up other problems in the relationship rather than focusing on the initial topic of discussion
  • Continuing to argue when the conversation gets heated instead of taking space
  • Refusing to honor the "time-out" request and attempting to resolve the conflict when your partner needs a break
  • Not trying to gain an understanding of your partner's perspective, or recognizing differences in how you approach situations
  • Refusing to compromise or come to a solution
  • Not setting boundaries or respecting your partner's boundaries

Know Your Communication Style

When communicating with others, it may help you to know your communication style. The three most common communication styles are:

  • Passive Communication
  • Assertive Communication
  • Aggressive Communication

Am I A Passive Communicator? 

Individuals who communicate passively may:

  • Prioritize the needs of others before their own
  • Speak in a soft or quiet voice
  • Struggle with eye contact
  • Have difficulty expressing their emotions, needs, and wants
  • Allow others to take control of a situation or decision
  • Communicate through hidden context behind other statements or non-verbal body language
  • Lack of confidence or self-esteem

Am I An Assertive Communicator? 

Individuals who communicate assertively may:

  • Advocate actively for their partner’s needs, wants, feelings, and beliefs
  • Listen and do not interrupt others while conversing
  • Stand up for their boundaries and respect the boundaries of others
  • Display a confident tone while speaking
  • Have the willingness to compromise and negotiate with others
  • Leave a situation when they are threatened or in harm's way

Am I An Aggressive Communicator? 

Individuals who communicate aggressively may:

  • Use criticism, dominance, and humiliation to control conversations
  • Speak very loudly or interrupt the other person
  • Become frustrated very easily
  • Be disrespectful of others
  • Disregard partner boundaries
  • Not try to understand their partner's side
  • Have difficulty compromising/negotiating with others

Social psychology typically considers the assertive style the healthiest form of communication, as it usually takes the needs and feelings of both parties into account and allows for productive problem-solving and conflict resolution.

Difficulty Communicating In A Conflict?

Match With A Licensed Counselor Who Can Help

Consider Couples Therapy

Therapy may seem scary for couples who find that conflicts and anger are frequent in their relationship; they may have some internal judgments about the types of people who go to therapy. Yet this is one of the most common sources for learning good communication strategies that may improve relationships for those who experience conflict. Studies show that 70% of those who seek out couples therapyexperience a positive impact on resolving relationship conflicts. Couples therapy is an effective method for many couples.

One of the other reasons couples may resist counseling is the fear of opening up about their concerns to a stranger. Many couples have at least one person who fears that their partner will lie about them or that the therapist may team up with their partner against them. However, therapists are trained to remain neutral and professional.

Therapists are there to help you and your partner succeed. They may offer worksheets, activities, or coping skills to try at home. Some couples therapists will meet with you one-on-one before a session to get a better idea of your personal feelings outside of couples therapy as well.

Online Therapy Options

You're Not Alone

However, online therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy, with a price similar to the co-pay of some insurance plans.

Compared to in-person therapy, online therapy is a flexible option that allows couples to meet with a therapist on their schedule. The couples can send emails to their counselor and schedule live video, phone, or chat messaging sessions.

Even though time must be taken out of the day of the week to attend online appointments, it may not be as stressful as arranging time away from home, coordinating time off with your partner to attend therapy, or getting a babysitter to look after the kids.

Online Therapy With BetterHelp

One of the most popular online therapy services is BetterHelp. BetterHelp provides fully licensed and screened mental health professionals with varying areas of expertise including those who specialize in marriage counseling or resolving family issues. Rather than paying for each visit or communication, there is one flat monthly fee for unlimited communication with the therapist. Often, the monthly fee is less than one session with a traditional in-person provider.

Studies show that teletherapy is as effective as in-person therapy for treating various concerns. If you're hoping to attend therapy with your partner simultaneously, BetterHelp also offers a sister company called ReGain which has the same benefits as BetterHelp to trained marriage and couples' counselors.

If you are looking for flexible options and think online therapy could be a good fit for you, your partner, and your lifestyles, consider BetterHelp or ReGain.


Finding relief from relationship conflicts is possible. If you're ready to see what online therapy has to offer for facilitating conflict resolution in your relationship, take the first step today or try out couples therapy with ReGain.

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