Be Complementary, Not Adversarial
No long-term relationship is without conflict. Conflict in a relationship, however, is not necessarily always a bad thing. Indeed, you don’t have to agree on everything to have a healthy, happy relationship. This is particularly true if the disagreeing viewpoints complement or challenge each other and lead to greater levels of understanding.
For example, growing up my parents wouldn’t always have the same viewpoints on what I should be permitted to do at my age. My mom tended to lean towards being more protective and my dad tended to lean towards being more permissive. These complimentary viewpoints established a compromise that usually ended up being in the best interest of my development.
Whether it’s differences within a nation or relationship, conflict can often be a source of strength.
But just like stress, that’s not to say that all conflict is helpful either. Unnecessary conflict in relationships can lead to feelings of resentment and anger. If unresolved, this type of conflict can irreversibly damage a relationship – driving people further and further apart.