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conflict resolution, couples counseling, relationships

“Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make a difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is ATTITUDE.”

These wise words by William James, the famous American philosopher, are the perfect place to start talking about conflict. When we look at our Core Values, we begin to understand why we end up in perpetual conflicts. We all have those fights in our relationship that seem to happen over and over, don’t we? When you stop and think about it, you usually can trace the conflict back to a deeply held value. That value is so deep, you can’t even really pinpoint where it comes from. For instance, my greatest Core Value is Love (Merchant). The most important thing I have to offer is my love, the care and nurture of other people’s emotional state. So the fight that happens over and over for us is the money I spend.

When we look at what I spend money on, it’s always for others: going to coffee, out to lunch or making an extravagant birthday dinner for a loved one. Once Eric understood this about me, he made a place in the family budget for Sabrina to “love on others.” This was so powerful in our relationship because I felt like he finally “got” me! He saw my deepest Core Value and valued it in me. That is truly precious, and prevented so many future conflicts!

As you think about your perpetual fights, which Core Value is being offended in you or your spouse? Your attitude toward this Core Value and the way you value or devalue it can make all the difference!

Take the CVI now and get started learning more about yourself and your partner.