When we don't understand what happened in the conflict, we always look for WHAT or WHO caused the conflict. While trying to figure things out, it's helpful that we trace and discuss things over. However, if people are quick to put a blame on people frantically, this is a problem.

Blaming is a circus. It's his fault-It's her fault. Not me-It's you. The drama goes on - an arena of who's better... a circus of who sounds smarter, better and proving each other wrong.

Finding faults is not going to help, but FINDING the CAUSES does. What's the difference? Finding FAULTS is looking at SOMEONE who is accountable for the conflict. Finding CAUSES is looking what FACTORS contributed to the fight or conflict (not looking at a person's contribution readily). To understand this correctly, let us examine how committed relationship's interactions really operate.

1. CAUSALITY. In a committed relationship, most of the time there are no straight answers on who caused or insinuated things. Call that CIRCULAR CAUSALITY or CORRELATIONAL CAUSALITY. Circular causality means you can't totally blame the wife for nagging and a frequently drunk husband. The wife nags because the husband goes home drunk and at the same time, the husband is drunk because the wife constantly nags, and the vicious cycle goes on. Correlational causality are looking at factors that indirectly caused the problem, such as, the husband hasn't found other ways other than drinking in coping with his problems or the wife hasn't learned how to minimize her nagging.

What to do:

The partners may have to closely examine (better with a professional for a more safe discussion and to keep the partners on track) the causes of their behaviour. They could be triggering each other's behaviour, but that's just a quarter of what caused the conflict.

Committed couples need to raise awareness and raise consciousness of individual behaviours and knowing when and how these behaviours rapture to conflict. At the same time, couples need to know what scenarios these behaviours are likely to emerge. However, this process of conflict resolution becomes tough when both are emotional. How messages are said, could be understood in an entirely different way and the discussion becomes another territory and a ring of fight

When couples begin to understand how these behaviours operate and how their emotionality transpire, they grow and become more functional couples.

2. DEFENSE-OFFENSE. On top of circular causality, there is DEFENSE-OFFENSE. People could communicate defensively not necessarily because they have something to hide, but past experience has taught them that if they don't have their shields on they could get constantly bruised. Sadly, others just don't act defensively, but they go offensive mode for self-preservation.

What to do:

Couples may have to reassure each other how much they care for each other and conflict communication does not need to insult, mock or ridicule to prove their point.

Each individual may also need to be aware of the history of their reactions. Committed partners may trigger certain behaviours but they may not have caused you to anticipate something that's going to happen. Defending one's self from being judged helps but it doesn't need to transform to an offense mode.

3. GENDER COMMUNICATION. Men and women's talk operate differently. When women talk, they want to unload and want her partner to understand what they're into, how they're feeling and what led to their emotionality . Women needs to be listened to in order to gain relief from her frustration and anxiety. She feels supported when the partner just listens and understand her predicament. However, to men they see talking out as that his partner is blaming them and become impatient about it.

To men, when they talk, they find solutions, blame someone or looking for advise. When women talk, men gets in a solution-focused position. But to women, they wanted to be listened to. When women talk more and more, men become defensive and are most likely to explain themselves. Remember they find relief by talking about the problem. When women have gained relief, in the end, men will realize that in total women are not blaming them.

What to do:

Gender differences really matter. Both have different needs. Men need to listen to fill in the need of their woman. Woman need also to realize that their man does not have the patience to listen all day. Men are are solutions-focused and by that, any problems in the relationship doesn't need to recur.

Women may just have to understand and respect their man' s limitation in listening. Stay on track with the problem and opening up issues in the past wouldn't help unless it is related to the current problem.

Men also need to understand and respect that their woman partner has the need to be listened to and that she is not looking for solutions just yet. When women is relieved, men will discover that their woman is not blaming nor rejecting them, including his solutions.

Resolving conflicts is never easy.Conflicts may arise because of differing opinions, preferences and ways. Sometimes, the partner wants to control the other according to his/her wishes, but remember that the person they fell in love with is an individual by itself without his/her influence nor controlling wishes (yet). To resolve conflicts, the bottomline is respect differences, care communication and acknowledging one's behaviours and how it triggers the partner.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Capangpangan, is based in Cebu, Philippines, with over 10 years experience specializing in group dynamics through behavioural training in niche groups: youth and adults in the sales, technical, agriculture, manufacturing and service industry.

Working on a research on contributory factors in becoming a child in conflict with the law (CICL) or children with anti-social tendencies, she finds how important it is to strengthen the couple-parental hierarchy in promoting effective methods in child-rearing. She explores the techniques in re-igniting passion and encourage teamwork in couples.

Jean uses techniques in social influence, leadership, group dynamics, learning and change management for behaviour modification.