All relationships can have conflict, and it can actually be healthy, but there are some things to be aware of while moving through the process.

Dr. Nannette Funderburk joined the Good Morning Show to discuss this topic.

To start the process of conversation when a couple is both frustrated or angry, Dr. Funderburk says that recognizing anger is okay (but violence and aggression are not) and it’s okay to express your anger. Sometimes we need to get rid of the initial, explosive anger before having the real conversation with the other person by, for example, walking it off, going to workout, or doing some breathing techniques. If you do this, you must set a time within the next 24-48 hours to have the conversation.

You may be wondering - What about old hurts and arguments that keep resurfacing? Shouldn’t we leave the past in the past?

Dr. Funderburk says this is a yes and no answer. If the same argument continues to arise weeks, months, even years on end, then there is something unresolved there. The part you want to leave in the past are the ultra specific details that, at this point, get you lost in minutia. But what still warrants discussion is how that past situation impacts the present.

So, how do you know if your relationship conflict is unhealthy?

Conflict in relationships becomes unhealthy when there are coercion and threats, intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation and minimizing and blaming.

Nannette Smith Funderburk, Ph.D., LPCS
The Social and Emotional Learning Group, PLLC

Psychotherapists to Meet All of Your Counseling Needs
3300 Battleground Avenue, Suite 202

Greensboro, NC 27410
Phone: 336-285-7173, Fax: 336-285-7174