Relationship Conflict: Lock Horns or Lock Arms

One of my favorite comic strips growing up was "The Lockhorns." Not so much because it particularly funny (although it was), but because it seemed like a great model for how not to do love relationships.

It was not until recently when someone mentioned the phrase "lock horns or lock arms" did I realize what the title of the comic strip really meant. What occurred to me, besides the fact that I can be a little slow sometimes, is that in love relationships, we always have the choice to either lock horns or lock arms.

Let's take a quick look at how to lock horns, and then some tips for locking arms that you can take home and use.

How to Lock Horns

=>Turn your relationship into a competition and keep score.

=>Make being right the most important goal in any discussion.

=>Take the Sinatra approach: "I did it my way" - be inflexible.

=>Regularly bring up offenses of the past. Often and in detail.

=>Always fight for the absolute correctness of your perception of things and never make room for your partner's perception.

=>put your self first - make sure your needs always get met, at whatever cost.

How to Lock Arms

Learning to lock arms involves making a commitment to choosing one person and making it work. A fairly radical notion in our divorce prone culture.

=>Create a relationship vision. Most couples spend more time planning a two week vacation than they do considering how they would like their relationship to be. Which leads to the question................

=>If we could design this relationship any way we wanted it to be, and we knew we couldn't fail, how would we like it to be?

=>Design a relationship that is a "safe-place." Not just safe from physical or emotional abuse, although of course that is crucial. What I mean is create an environment where it is safe to be your self, feel and think what you feel and think, with room to grow as a person.

=>Make an ongoing, lifetime commitment to do two things:

1)As much as humanly possible, understand a totally different gender than your own. Not better or worse, just radically different. And,

2)Completely understanding one other person. Part of locking arms is the commitment to work at totally understanding one other person in life. Not always an easy thing to do, but consider how good it could feel to be completely understood by someone.

=>Remember that relationship conflict is inevitable. Fighting is optional. It is always a choice.

=>Learn to look at the world through the eyes of your partner. You don't have to agree with how they see things, or even understand it completely. You do need to be able to see through their eyes.

=>Form a partnership that uses each of your own unique skills to the fullest.

The other thing I remember about "The Lockhorns" comic strip was that neither one of them appeared to be very happy with the arrangement. Maybe I'll start a comic strip called "The Lockarms." In the meantime, carry with you the simple reminder "lock horns or lock arms", and see how conflict will go down and your relationship will improve.

Leading relationship expert Jeff Herring is a Relationship Coach, Speaker, and Nationally Syndicated Relationship columnist.

You can read more practical tips, common sense relationship advice and occasional humor at his website

In The News:

Huffington Post

Singer-Songwriter Matt Gold Releases 'Low' Video Inspired By His Personal ...
Huffington Post
Indiana-based singer-songwriter Matt Gold says the video for his new track, "Low," is inspired from "having been broken down" in his relationships. The song, which was released in April, melds Gold's haunting melodies with personal lyrics. The out ...

and more »

The Guardian (blog)

Why disaster movies are leading the way for age-appropriate relationships
The Guardian (blog)
It could be argued that the focus is less on romance and more on something massive smashing into something even more massive but then, was sub-Hitchockian thriller Unknown really about developing the relationship between Liam Neeson and his wife, ...

and more »

Closure of Relationships Aotearoa (press release)
What makes the closure puzzling is that services provided by Relationships Aotearoa clearly fit within the MSD Community Investment Strategy, “supporting adult victims / survivors and perpetrators and reducing family and sexual violence”. The cost of ...
Counselling service worried clients will lose outRadio New Zealand

all 11 news articles »

Huffington Post

A Gay Woman's Relationship Advice For Straight Women
Huffington Post
Ahh, all so true. My friends nod when hearing this type of spot-on advice. "Ah, God, you're so right about me. That is what I do. Sometimes, I make it so much worse. I'll apply this ointment to my own inflamed personality immediately." But they don't ...

and more »

The Guardian

Relationships from volunteering: share your photos and stories
The Guardian
Relationships from volunteering: share your photos and stories. Did you make a great friend or meet the love of your life as a result of voluntary work? We'd love to hear your story. St John's Ambulance volunteers chatting. St John Ambulance volunteers.

Huffington Post

10 Small Acts in a Relationship That Are Actually a Really Big Deal
Huffington Post
There is an important distinction to be made in relationships between people who pay attention to detail, and people who don't. The first type are people who don't usually go all-out on the big things like extravagant gifts or getaways for special ...


LMPD visits elementary school to create positive relationships with police
The goal is to form positive relationships with police at an early age. The first stop in the tour targets kids in district one. It's a visit organizers say is critical to achieving safe neighborhoods. "It's important because oftentimes our children ...

and more »

The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

North Cedar's Spicher builds building, relationships
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
North Cedar's Spicher builds building, relationships. North Cedar's Spicher builds building, relationships. HS journalism: Shop teacher also an advisor. Education, Gazette, High school, K-12 Education,. Photos. North Cedar shop teacher Steven Spicher ...

Students explore relationships in 'Plaza Suite'
Lexington Dispatch
But they will take on the task of showing adults going down in flames in their relationships as they perform "Plaza Suite" at 7 p.m. June 5 and 6 at the Centennial Station in High Point. The Neil Simon comedy first hit the stage in 1968. The three-act ...

and more »


Little Darlings Star Tatum O'Neal Says Her Recent Relationships Have Been ...
Oscar-winning child star Tatum O'Neal, 51, candidly told People that lately she has primarily dated women. "I definitely have been dating mostly women recently." O'Neal told People. But the star of classics including Paper Moon and The Bad News Bears, ...
Tatum O'Neal on Ex-Husband John McEnroe: We Have No Relationship, But ...People Magazine
Tatum O'Neal Gets Candid About 'Dating Mostly Women Recently'TheWrap

all 83 news articles »
Google News

3 Principals That Will Keep a Long Lasting Relationship

Many of us have had a broken heart and hurt... Read More

Friendship Advice for a Shrinking Planet

Ahh, friends. The people we pick up along the proverbial... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 3

Liar, Liar! Pants On Fire!Today, you'll learn about 2 yellow-flag... Read More

Guys Guide To Flowers

We are here to help! With these helpful hints on... Read More

What Type of a Kisser Are You?

As we all know, there are many types of kiss.... Read More

Do You Love Reading The Daily Horoscopes Part II

How many time have you felt an instant attraction to... Read More

Happily Single v Happily Married

Have you noticed how so many people spend their lives... Read More

My Life

My sister is 45 and having an affair with an... Read More

When Someone You Love is Moving

Your best friend moves a thousand miles, your aunt retires... Read More

10 Free Romantic Gifts

Being in love does not mean that you should turn... Read More

Relationship Tips: 16 Practical Dramatic Ways to Know if He/She is REALLY Changing

Every relationship hits a snag, or worse, a major crisis... Read More

The Ancient Wisdom of Matchmaking & Loving Y.O.U.

"Know Thyself" PlatoIsn't it curious how just about everything in... Read More

The Friend Who Taught Me

Knowing her day can be dreadfully tiresome when she mounts... Read More


"The important thing to remember when it comes to forgiving... Read More

Love Advice: Let Fate Decide?

One of the most commonly asked questions, What is Love?... Read More

Great Relationships: How to Get the Spark Back

Losing the spark - simply, if you will, falling out... Read More

Are You Living An Illusion Romance Like Lisa Snowdon and George Clooney?

My Dear Lover,Today I am sad, I don't have good... Read More

Valentine?s Day is Fast Approaching, So Gather the Chocolates and Lingerie

That lover's holiday we know as Valentine's Day is coming... Read More

A Friend in Need

Here's the scenario: Julie, a hardworking secretary, lent money to... Read More

Shattered Visions

Sometimes it takes a girlfriend in order to have a... Read More

The Path of Relationship

Each month after completing and fine tuning Letters on Life... Read More

Clues to Help You Bust the Undercover Married Man, Before You Fall in Love

If your Knight in shining armor still hasn't come galloping,... Read More

Relationship Spring Cleaning by Susan Sheppard

History doesn't belong in a relationship that is presentMy friend,... Read More

Romantic Tips ? Gift Giving

I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More


AS I STARED at the sunset, I marveled at its... Read More