My fiancé and I had a fight last weekend. In short, the fight was a lack of communication on his part and a bit of over-reaction on my part.
We tend to have these types of blow outs when I'm on the road. However, when we do reach the boiling point, I'll say that we're able to resolve it in a timely and constructive way without the verbal sparring that can hurt so deeply.
I thought about where we learn conflict resolution. I thought about my parents and I'm not sure they were the best at it. My mom would get mad, there would be some raised voices and then a very hollow silence would fill the house, ending with the bang of a slammed door. This is how we knew she was still mad. Eventually, my parents would make peace privately and the fight was over.
In my first marriage, we had verbal sparring to the point of abuse. My ex could not demonstrate anger without losing control. As for me, I acted a lot like my mother. I would slip into a deep silence that would last for days. I wouldn't talk or even look at him. Now I know that this is not a healthy way to deal with conflict.
I've learned the value of talking it through. My fiancé is excellent at pushing the issue when we need to talk and I'm grateful for it. When we deal with an issue immediately, it gets resolved immediately. If we were to let it linger, it could start to manifest itself into something much larger that can seriously damage a relationship.