What Important Factors Make a Conflict-free Relationship?

What Important Factors Make a Conflict-free Relationship?

For the last three weeks, we’ve been writing about mutuality, union and core values, three foundational aspects of conflict-free peaceful relationships.

Know Yourself

While these are the critical underpinnings of the type of relationships we describe, there are characteristics that make these possible as well. We mentioned one in last week’s blog, which is the necessity of getting to know yourself in order to implement these practices.

When you apply our process to finding mutuality, you need to be able to ascertain and communicate to your partner what your real needs and wants are. You need to be able to go within and truly see what is important to you.

In allowing true union in your relationship, where the third self – the joined self, is not a threat to your separate individuality, you have to have worked on yourself and feel strong within who you are.

To ascertain whether or not you have matching core principles with someone, you need to know what yours are.Mutuality, union and core values are foundational aspects of conflict-free peaceful relationships Share on X

Be On The Same Side

For mutuality and union to occur at all, you need to be on the same side. You can’t offer hostility and defensiveness any residence. If you see them around, give them 30 seconds notice and evict them. You need to have a positive viewpoint about what is happening between you.

In order to do this, you must both be committed to the best for each other. Your exchanges must be about what works for both of you and what is best for both of you. All desires to be right and to have it be “your way or the highway” must be set aside in favor of your commitment to each other.


To be on the same side requires you to trust your partner, but that shouldn’t be hard because trust is also the basis of how society operates. We can all work and live together because we trust that other people will behave in a generally helpful way. Sure, there are rules and laws to curb anti-social behavior, but our behavior is motivated far less by fear of punishment than it is by the joy of cooperating with others.

So looking for and expecting trust in your relationship is both natural and easy, and trust is what leads to mutuality and union. (The converse is also true; just think how much damage a breach of trust can do in a relationship, whether it’s concerning money, truth or fidelity.)

Deal With Differences

But how can you trust your partner when they sometimes act so differently from you? It is a question of whether your core values match. It is important to learn what your partner’s values are as early as possible and to verify, not just by words but also by actions, what each of yours is.

To let your partner be their idiosyncratic self instead of getting upset by them, you need to distinguish between what is important and what to let go of. This isn’t the same as conceding, yielding, compromising; it’s about non-attachment. Channel your inner Buddha. This allows true union in your relationship.

Make The Leap

Choose your viewpoint. As computer programmers say, using possibly the ugliest acronym on the planet, WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. Your reality consists of what you look at, so when you focus on the positive aspects of your partner, what might irk you diminishes in size, and when you view your relationship in positive terms, that is how you will see it. This is not suppression, this is you taking charge of your life.

This does require a change in behavior, and changes can be challenging, but to reap the rewards, this leap must be made. You will derive strength from your shared commitment and the trust that this engenders. The more you apply these principles, the more reassurance you will gain from their success.

Photo credit: Maude Mayes

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2 Comments on “What Important Factors Make a Conflict-free Relationship?

  1. I wanted to let you know how important and inspiring I’m finding your newsletters. Especially right now when most of us who are sheltering in place are having our relationships tested by our constant proximity.

    What stood out for me this week is the huge responsibility I bring to any relationship. It really is about maturity. I can’t expect others to understand me if I haven’t taken the time to understand myself. I can see that in earlier relationships I have often expected the other person to know my inner thoughts and desires and then took rageful offense when they didn’t act to my wishes.

    Thank you again for your kind loving words and insights into the messy madness of relationship!

    • Thank you Dondra. I always find it so gratifying to hear that someone gets our message.

      I like your view of maturity and how helpful it is in creating a relationship where both people take the time and effort to listen to and hear each other. It is always so important that we look at our own behavior in relationships (and everywhere else!)

      Peace, Phil

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