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 SecretsofGreatRelationships.com

In The News:


Focus on Family: Tips for rekindling relationships
WGN-TV
Children are a wonderful addition to any relationship, however all too often their role in the family unit can encroach on your partner's needs. Some believe that, due to the biological bond and inherent dependency kids have, a child's needs should ...


Unhealthy relationships cause unhealthy bodies
U-T San Diego
George Pratt, a clinical psychologist, author and licensed marriage and family therapist associated with Scripps Health, said a toxic or unhealthy relationship can exist among married couples, people who are dating and even those who are no longer a ...
Unhealthy relationships can cause unhealthy bodiesRocky Mountain Collegian

all 3 news articles »

Want to Bolster Professional Relationships? Ignore Social Media
U.S. News & World Report (blog)
Emails and tweets are fine, but when you want to crank relationships up to several levels deeper and gain more meaningful connections for the long-term, nothing beats old-fashioned face time. Here are five strategies to accomplish this: 1. Go offline ...

and more »

5 Ways to Boost Self-Esteem To Better Your Relationships
Huffington Post
Unfortunately, your battle against negative self-esteem doesn't only affect yourself, but it also impacts your romantic relationships. According to a 2013 study, self-esteem influences our own relationship satisfaction, as well as that of our partner's ...


Eurweb.com

Celebrity Therapist Vladimire Calixte Sets Record Straight on Abusive ...
Eurweb.com
According to licensed mental health therapist, Vladimire Calixte, the founder of Life Rebuilding, and the author of “Naked and Transparent: Six Vital Tools for Knowing Yourself and Attracting Healthy Relationships, “ many people don't know who they ...

and more »

Study shows correlation between relationship quality and health, interracial ...
Red and Black
Titled “A Dyadic Analysis of Relationships and Health: Does Couple-Level Context Condition Partner Effects?,” the study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology and gathered data mainly on young people and addressed factors such as ...


Forbes

Stephanie Palmer: How to Build Relationships in Hollywood
Forbes
I recently caught up with Stephanie to get her thoughts on entrepreneurship and how relationships have helped her to grow her career. John Corcoran: Both of your parents had careers working with the federal government and probably could have helped ...


TheHealthSite

Beware, too much 'selfie' sharing can reduce intimacy in relationships
TheHealthSite
According to British researchers, people who post too many photos of themselves on social media run the risk of damaging real-life relationships. 'People, other than very close friends and relatives, do not seem to relate well to those who constantly ...
Too much selfie sharing can harm relationshipsProthom Alo (English)
Too many selfies on FB hurt relationshipsTimes of India

all 6 news articles »

Clinical relationships key to treatment of alcohol abuse
Medical Xpress
"Once they have built a relationship with staff members they trust, it's often difficult for the patient when those staff leave the treatment services. Cancelled appointments were also a common problem for patients with co-occuring symptoms, as they ...


Autumn Equinox: The Day of Peace and Relationships
Huffington Post
How incredibly intuitive and wise were those early men and women star-gazers of Babylon, that they assigned to Libra, the sign of balance and equality, the ruelrship over marriage and relationships. I am not sure if they were truly egalitarian, or just ...

Google News

The Battle of the Sexes!

During my personal experiences with some of my relationships, I... Read More

She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Who Is Some Who Loves You?1. Someone who sees the... Read More

Universal Laws for Couples

The Law of Connection: Spouses are either growing closer or... Read More

Fear of a Broken Heart

Dear Candace,I am in the process of getting divorced and... Read More

Relationship Advice: Powerful Tips for Staying Close and Connected

Staying close in your relationship does not just happen.Staying close... Read More

How to Find Out If Your Wife or Girlfriend Is Cheating On You

What drives a woman to cheat may look a lot... Read More

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places? - How to fine tune your relationship radar

I don't think a week goes by that I don't... Read More

Say, Whats On Your Mind, Partner?

Stan is an incurable romantic. Ever since he started courting... Read More

Anniversary Blues

Jamie and Kurt are a sweet, successful couple in their... Read More

Secrets of the Opposite Sex

Secrets of the Opposite SexMany jokes, problems, and conversations revolve... Read More

Breaking Your Relationship Pattern, Part 1

When you were little, you looked up to your parents.... Read More

Valentines Day Gifts Can Expose a Cheating Husband

If you have the uneasy feeling that your husband is... Read More

How To (Wo)man Your Boundaries

The first time I ever heard "boundaries" mentioned, it was... Read More

Building the Bond in Your Relationship

A bond (relationship wise) is when two people have a... Read More

Being Dumped, Just Plain Sucks!

Today I received a question from a guy. Here is... Read More

How to Find Relationship Advice

One thing to keep in mind when seeking relationship advice... Read More

Russian Brides - Who Are They?

In recent years, thousands of young Russian and Ukrainian women... Read More

How A Phony Persona Always Hurts You

'Be yourself', isn't that what you've always heard? It certainly... Read More

Pay Attention! Mastering Communication Skills with Women

One of the biggest complaints women have about men is... Read More

Soulmates, Are They Pre-ordained?

One day a telegram arrived at a man's door. When... Read More

The First Ninety Days

A friend of mine recently commented on the amazing number... Read More

Before Falling Truly and Madly in Love Ask Each Other 10 Pertinent Questions

Falling in love?aaahh what a wonderful experience the first flushes... Read More

Love Advice: Are You Frozen in Time?

Falling in love is a process that one cannot stay... Read More

Its Your Fault I Had An Affair!

When you read it like that, out of context, you'd... Read More

Ridding Yourself Of Being A Manipulator To Better Your Relationships

One of the oldest character flaws in humans is their... Read More