What About the Longing? – The Importance of Finding the Dreams within Conflict

What About the Longing? - The Importance of Finding the Dreams within Conflict

What About the Longing? – The Importance of Finding the Dreams within Conflict

By Eve Udesky, LMSW

While in the middle of a heated argument, it’s hard to see or hear anything but that your partner is totally in the wrong. You must do everything you can to defend your position, stand your ground and get them to admit you’re right! But what happens if we slow down and take a deeper look? You may be shocked to learn that behind every complaint, there is a longing; within every conflict, each person has not just a position but a dream. In couples therapy, understanding the dreams within the conflict, the longing behind the complaints, is crucial for fostering deeper connection, empathy, and resolution between partners.

Here’s why it’s important:

1. Deeper Understanding: Conflict often arises when partners’ underlying needs, desires, and values clash. Exploring the dreams within conflict allows couples to gain insight into what truly matters to each other, which fosters empathy and understanding.

2. Emotional Connection: By uncovering the dreams behind conflict, couples can tap into the emotional undercurrents driving their disagreements. This creates an opportunity for partners to connect on a deeper level and validate each other’s feelings and perspectives, rather than staying locked in opposing arguments.

3. Conflict Resolution: Addressing the dreams within conflict enables couples to identify common goals and values, which can guide them toward finding mutually satisfactory solutions. Very often couples find that their dreams, at the core, are actually quite similar, and it shifts the focus from winning or losing to collaboratively working towards a shared vision for the relationship.

4. Building Trust: When partners feel heard, understood, and respected even in the midst of conflict, it builds trust and strengthens the foundation of the relationship. Recognizing and validating each other’s dreams fosters a sense of safety and security within the partnership.

5. Promoting Growth: Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, but it also presents an opportunity for growth and transformation. By exploring the dreams within conflict, couples can learn more about themselves and each other, leading to personal and relational growth over time.

6. Preventing Future Conflict: Understanding the dreams within conflict can help couples identify recurring patterns and triggers in their relationship. By proactively addressing underlying issues and needs, couples can prevent future conflicts from escalating or recurring.

Finding the dreams within conflict is essential in couples therapy for fostering empathy, resolving disagreements, building trust, promoting growth, and ultimately strengthening the bond between partners. It empowers couples to navigate conflicts constructively and cultivate a more fulfilling and resilient relationship.