10 Common Conflict Pitfalls from Renovate Your Relationship

This list includes common pitfalls that fuel disconnection and conflict...Take a read to ensure you’re not falling into any of these traps.

By Salt 106.5 Network Monday 22 Nov 2021The Morning Wake-up with KristianRelationshipsReading Time: 3 minutes

Joanne Wilson, Neuropsychotherapist, from The Confidante Counselling & Relationship Rejuvenator joined Salt Breakfast to chat about her new book Renovate Your Relationship, and shares 10 common conflict pitfalls couples often find themselves falling into.

The goal of The Relationship Rejuvenator is to reignite the love connection and intimacy in your relationship, to this end Joanne Wilson shares “we all use our best attempts to cope with differences in a desperate attempt to move beyond the pain”, and asks which behaviours have you most frequently tried to deal with your conflict?

This list includes 10 common pitfalls that fuel disconnection and conflict…Take a read to ensure you’re not falling into any of these traps. You may have heard of the infamous “Four Horseman”, descriptors from the Gottman Institute:


When we attack instead of delivering feedback in a kind and respectful way, it will lead to hurt feelings, embarrassment when in front of others and guaranteed to shut down meaningful communication.


A natural response to protect your ego when criticised, attacked or blamed is to defend yourself. This disables any responsibility taken for your actions and inhibits what the feedback is about. If the information is shared respectfully, the receiver is less likely to defend.


Nasty mocking or making fun of your partner belittles them. Gottman found that if you show contempt to a partner there is an 85 per cent possibility of the relationship ending and often considered to be psychological abuse.


Making yourself inaccessible by withdrawing from your partner and any communication is a symptom of emotionally disconnecting. This has also been referred to as a form of “Intimacy anorexia”.

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The list does not end here…..  Joanna shares these additional “contaminants” she’s noticed in the counselling room:

5.You need to be right

Being self-righteous or obsessed with control will have you fighting to the end of your relationship.

6.You keep score

Not only does this result in a win/lose outcome but can become exhaustingly competitive at each other’s expense.

7.You focus on flaws

The need to deliver respectful and kind feedback is a given, however, habitually highlighting your partners’ flaws is soul-destroying. This is a reflection of your poor self-worth or the ability to communicate effectively and feel heard by your partner.

8.You’re lazy

The “relationship load” is left to your partner to initiate conversation, dates and most of the interaction. You’re in the comfort zone and they’re running circles trying to please you.

9.You thrive on being enmeshed

Your attachment style (often from your family background) is like a radar turned up to such a high frequency, you have an insatiable need for attention. You are unable to join a healthy sense of independence and suffocate your partner.

10.You’ve checked out

Either for financial reasons, apathy, children or others, you’ve lost hope and frozen in fear or numbness to make any positive change. You feel trapped!

What similarities are there in how you manage conflict  compared  to  those people in your family of origin? Ie. Screaming, silent, physical? Maybe you do the opposite?

For more relationship advise and resources from The Relationship Rejuvenator visit www.relationshiprejuvenator.com