Fighting isn’t fun. Most of us don’t like conflict, especially the ugly kind of conflict where we say mean and hurtful things. Conflict is as much as part of your relationship, and should be as much a part of your relationship as kissing, or even breathing. It’s normal, it’s necessary. But none of us like it because it’s uncomfortable. Well it’s supposed to be that too. Conflict calls attention to the areas where growth is needed, whether it is within yourself or in your relationship. Conflict is a call to action to pay attention to a specific area that needs addressing.
So let’s start by defining conflict. When I talk about conflict, I am not talking about name calling, raised voices, or anything of the like. I am talking about confronting the uncomfortable issues in a kind and loving way. It’s being able to be open and vulnerable with each other to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with one another. This openness and willingness to be vulnerable with each other, when it is handled in an emotionally safe environment, is what creates deep and meaningful connection in your relationship.
What happens when we avoid conflict? Typically we avoid it because we don’t know how to address the issues that come up in a kind and loving way. We want to be heard and understood and when we aren’t, we throw tantrums. When we can’t hear our partner, they throw tantrums. So let’s just avoid it all together.
What does this have to do with infidelity?
When we don’t address the issues that are beneath the surface of our relationship, two things happen. We become disconnected and those issues fester resulting in hidden resentment and frustration. The longer they linger, the worse they get. When you don’t address what the issues are, you end up fighting about nonsensical mundane things that don’t really matter and wonder why you aren’t getting along.
And that furthers the disconnection between you and your partner. You’re keeping thoughts and feelings hidden and they pile up. This creates a prime atmosphere for an affair. There needs to be a release valve, and when you don’t deal with it in the relationship with your partner, you will look to other things to deal with it. Sometimes it might be alcohol, drugs, gambling, emerging yourself in your hobby, or an affair. When individuals are not addressing areas that need growth, they seek escape and that escape along with the avoidance is very damaging to the intimacy, emotional safety and connection of your loving relationship.