A big misconception in our culture is that we must resolve every conflict in our relationships, but in fact, there are certain problems in relationships that can’t necessarily be solved. (Learn more about solvable vs. perpetual problems here.)

Rather than trying to resolve all of their conflicts, couples should aim to talk through conflict in a respectful manner. Practicing active listening, validating your partner’s feelings even when you do not agree, and finding ways to stay connected while discussing conflict (i.e., a touch on the hand, making soft eye contact) are helpful strategies to help keep emotions at bay when talking about difficult issues together. 

Remembering that the point is not always to resolve or end the problem helps to ensure that couples can move forward through all types of conflict.