Conflict gets a really bad rap. People mistakenly think that its only benefit in a romantic relationship is the make up sex that often follows.

Couple Having Relationship IssuesHowever, in a close relationship, conflict is an opportunity for growth and a way of brainstorming different perspectives and approaches to problem solving. When approached correctly, we actually learn a lot about our partner during a conflict because basically we’re clashing over different perspectives – that arise from the same differences we fell in love with in the first place.

In this video, Anabel Newton, creator of the Happy Couple’s Blueprint, gives you a very powerful technique to approaching conflict.

Instead of continuing an argument when both parties are feeling frustrated, table the discussion for 30 minutes later (or longer if you need more time to cool down and be rational) and adopt the 3 Assumptions:

1. WE are on the same team
2. Neither one of us has any intention of trying to make life harder for the other for our own benefit
3. WE each love the other and care first and foremost for the good of OUR relationship.

By adopting the three assumptions, you will listen more effectively and with more respect to one another and you will brainstorm solutions more easily. You will also waste less time trying to convince one another that you are right – and they are wrong – which is a completely futile exercise!

Anabel Newton

Anabel is the creator of the Happy Couple’s Blueprint – a simple 3 step process that turns your relationship into your greatest resource for happiness.  Anabel  is a Law and Sociology graduate and an accredited mediator who is passionate about happy relationship outcomes.  She helps individuals and couples to resolve inner and interpersonal conflict.  The result is, people know who they are, why they are and what they need – and how to communicate that to the person they love most.   She then helps couples to create their own blueprint together, so that they can live passionately and fulfilled… happily ever after. To learn more about Anabel and the Happy Couple’s Blueprint visit:

What Do You Think?

2 Comments | Join the discussion

  • Anabel Sep 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Leia – my apologies for the late reply and thank you for the question – its a brilliant one! Gender roles/dynamics are fairly complex and they really depend and vary on our cultural upbringing. There is a lot of validity in the male vs female approach – if you come from almost exactly the same background. Even then – every family has its own dynamic, and we tend to model behaviour so male vs female world views really aren’t that black and white. By using a tool like the 3 assumptions – you are less likely to assume (ironic I know!) that you know what your partner is thinking and where they are coming from. You are setting the scene to simply listen and get to the core of the issue. I hope that answered your question – please feel free to ask for further clarification!

  • Leia Sep 6, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Hi Annabel – I have a question. I often read that when you have a disagreement in a romantic relationship, it’s about a male way of dealing with things versus a female way of dealing with things. Your approach seems to side-step this way of looking at things and I like it for it’s simplicity in this regard. However, I’m interested in understanding what you think about the first approach which would have very different premises for understanding and resolving disagreement, I imagine.


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