Let’s face it conflict is part of all intimate relationships. Parents get angry at kids. Wives get angry at wives. Brothers get angry at sisters. When I hear of a couple or family that “never fights” a red flag gets waved for me. And, I am quite assured that they don’t have true intimacy. When two separate people join together for common life goals, clashes are inevitable. But the presence of conflict alone is not an indicator of a relationship’s health. I prefer to focus instead on the ?nature of how couples and families make repair. How do couples make up after a fight? With apologies, contrition, consoling and even laughter? Or is the aftermath of anger marked by silence, distance and a new rule to never speak about the subject of the fight?
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Learning how to have healthy conflict is crucial to having emotional intimacy. But what exactly is healthy conflict?