There is no right answer about how much to share with friends and family, but the more you are on the same page, the better off — and less blindsided — you will be. How do we handle conflict, and how could we be better about it?
Decades of marriage and family research have shown one indisputable truth: Conflicts will arise, and how you handle those conflicts is every bit as important as the conflicts themselves. Does one person express their feelings and the other holds them in until resentment builds?
Often, in the throes of passionate romantic love, it is hard to envision that the daily, unromantic grind ("Why do you always use up the last of the coffee without letting me know? But take it from a therapist who is privy to people's relationship misery: It most certainly can.
What's your partner like when they're stuck in traffic? When they haven't had enough sleep, when their parent has a health scare, when they get an exorbitant parking ticket, or when they have to call customer service for a defective product?But in other cases, the early warnings of potential friction were there all along, in the form of personality conflicts or day-to-day incompatibility.If you are thinking of committing for life — or even just living together — it may be very helpful to contemplate some of the issues that can frequently drive a wedge in long-term relationships.What happens if one person unexpectedly wants to be a stay-at-home parent? And this is a good thing, as keeping strong emotional intimacy with friends and family can provide a safety valve for those that are in a controlling relationship (not to mention provide endless entertainment with stories of dating that are good, bad, or ugly).But once married, lots of people's expectations change.But the more that you can anticipate friction beforehand, the more proactively you can work to resolve it and have a plan for how to keep it from wrecking your relationship.