What is it about?

This study explores whether simple writing exercises can help individuals view conflicts in their relationships more positively and manage disputes more effectively. Over a four-month period, researchers asked participants to write about the positive aspects of engaging in conflict, hoping this would lead to a more constructive approach during disagreements. While the writing exercise itself did not directly improve how couples handled conflicts, the findings reveal something important: people who naturally see conflicts as opportunities for improvement tend to resolve disputes more successfully. They experience less severe conflicts and greater satisfaction in their relationships. Essentially, the study suggests that how we think about conflicts can significantly affect our ability to manage them positively in our relationships.

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Why is it important?

People who see conflicts as chances to better their relationships usually deal with disagreements more successfully. They have fewer and milder conflicts, and they feel happier in their relationships. This indicates that our perspective on conflicts can greatly affect how well we manage them with our partners.


I hope our research inspires people to reconsider their views on conflict and adopt a more positive attitude towards disagreements in their romantic relationships

Tim Cole Cole
DePaul University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Loving conflict in marital relationships: An approach motivation perspective., Couple and Family Psychology Research and Practice, May 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/cfp0000258.
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