Today’s lesson is on conflict in relationships and how to hand it. The metaphor is boxing. There are different ways people deal with conflict and the central thing to remember in any conflict is that the relationship is more important than the conflict. It isn’t about winning. But we aren’t to just not have conflict. We need to stay in the fight. Kerry says we should be sparing partners, not worried about winning, but in the fight for each other’s benefit.

If you haven’t gotten this yet, every day has a new metaphor.

Which style of fighter are you? How did this style develop? How would you say your parents handled conflict? If you had one month to live how would you change the way you handle conflict?

The Mrs and I talked about it a little and really we do a pretty good job of being sparing partners. The relationship is always more important than winning. Occasionally we are one two punchers, which means we take turns, but even that is in service to the relationship.

In non marriage conflicts I’m more of a take the fall kind of fighter, basically leaving the fight. At least in many conflicts. Sometimes I take a deep breath and try to reach a compromise, to find out what is really going on.

Do you usually fight fair with your loved ones? Which of these ground rules is hardest for you to keep?

I think I do fight fair with my loved ones. Occasionally I do you the power of my position or my size to intimidate my boys, but I try to do that as little as possible. And I try not to manipulate them into my view point. I prefer a Socratic dialog to get them to come to the conclusions I want. Doesn’t work all the time.