Sign up FAST! Login

The Gottman Relationship Blog: Managing Conflict: Solvable vs. Perpetual Problems


Stashed in: Conflict, Marriage

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

When thinking about conflict in a relationship, it is important to ascertain whether a problem is solvable or perpetual. Our research has shown that 69% of relationship conflict is about perpetual problems. All couples have them – these problems are grounded in the fundamental differences that any two people face. They are either 1) fundamental differences in your personalities that repeatedly create conflict, or 2) fundamental differences in your lifestyle needs. In our research, we concluded that instead of solving their perpetual problems, what seems to be important is whether or not a couple can establish a dialogue about them. If they cannot establish such a dialogue, the conflict becomes gridlocked, and gridlocked conflict eventually leads to emotional disengagement.

A dialogue about perpetual problems should focus on what? How to live with the differences?

You May Also Like: