Four conversations to solve most difficult relationship problems

ByTapatrisha Das, Delhi
Feb 15, 2023 10:01 AM IST

From taking the first step of repair to knowing the triggers, here are a few conversations that can solve difficult problems.

In relationships, we often come across situations when we need to repair the relationship. In long-term relationships, it is normal to have conflict and difference in opinion, leading to damage and insecurity regarding the future of the relationship. Sometimes, having the right conversations can help us in understanding the root cause of the problems, and address them one at a time. Addressing this, Therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw wrote, “For especially difficult to solve issues between two people, it often takes having all four of these conversations (sometimes many, many times) to begin working towards connection, healing, and agreement.⁠”

Four conversations to solve most difficult relationship problems(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Four conversations to solve most difficult relationship problems(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Adding to the same, Elizabeth noted down four conversations that can help in solving most difficult conversations in relationships:

Repair: Sometimes the biggest of conflicts can be relaxed with a small step of repair. Asking for a safe physical touch in the middle of the argument, or bending down and pledging to be a better listener, can be the initial step in repairing the relationship.

Perspective: “Genuinely listening to the other person’s side. What do they believe about this issue? What have they noticed, seen, interpreted, felt? Can you hold space for your partner while they explore their reality? And then they must hold space for you to explore yours, too.,” Elizabeth wrote. It is important to know their side of the story and their way of seeing the conflict as well.

Trigger: This can be followed by understanding what acted as a trigger for them to make them react in the way they did in the argument. This will further help us understand the triggers of the relationship, so we can work better in avoiding them in future.

What’s next: “You can keep these agreements small and temporary. Something that you can realistically do for each other that honors both your needs with an agreement to come back and revisit it soon,” wrote Elizabeth Earnshaw.


    Tapatrisha is Content Producer with Hindustan Times. She covers stories related to health, relationships, and fashion.

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