I Don’t Want to Talk about It

“Let’s talk about avoiding conflict.”

“I’d rather not.”

Has your partner ever tried to have a conversation about avoiding conflict but couldn’t because you didn’t want to talk about it?

We’ll do some generalizing in the next few Lunch and Learns. If what we describe is the opposite in your home, make the flip. The generalization is about men going quiet, shutting down or simping in the presence of disagreements and conflict. Another generalization is that women are more in tune to what they see as problems in the relationship and will bring them up often even if emotions are escalated.

For the avoiders:

1. Believe the best about your wife. She is not picking a fight. She’s trying to solve a problem. If it’s not that big of a problem for you, then great! You can solve it quickly with her.

2. In the beginning you are not the problem. You can become the problem in her eyes if you won’t engage.

3. We coach “Right now, is not always the best time to discuss a problem.” After midnight is typically a poor time to resolve a disagreement. Avoiders tend to realize this, ask to talk about it later, then never bring it up again. If your wife has witnessed you “Waiting for a better time” and then never engaging, she’ll develop the sense that it is now or never.

4. This is big! Ultimately, avoiding conflict escalates emotion. You are not doing yourself a favor.

5. Every good thing becomes a bad thing when out of moderation. Is avoiding escalation a good thing? Sure. Until you get unbalanced, then it’s bad. Your wife should have some say in when your avoidance is harmful rather than helpful.

6. Engage faster to resolve faster. You love to fix things, so fix it with her.

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