If you are anything like me, you love that your partner is a strong woman.

Strong women are amazing. They are fierce, very loving and deeply committed to your growth. They aren’t afraid to speak their mind (on any subject) and they are not only exceptionally vocal when expressing their love they are similarly never afraid of getting into conflict.

It is because of this full blown expression that I have see many men unfortunately ill-prepared to be with them fully.

Many men love the strength and courage of our women yet find fault and judgement in the parts that may not work for them, parts that come hand in hand with that power.

As such, many women feel that they have to shrink or suppress themselves in order to be with someone or worse, these women start to believe that who they are is ‘too much’, ‘too loud’, ‘too strong’ and that ultimately men can’t handle them and thus they end up compromising.

On the flip side, some men can feel so powerless or small around these women, (especially when it comes to dealing with their upset or with someone who’s unapologetically expressed in their anger.)

Recently I’ve found out 3 ways that have really worked in dealing with conflict in my relationship.

I’ve read numerous books on the right tactics to use, how to dissolve arguments, take responsibility, etc. There is no shortage of information, tips, hacks and ideas out there. The list can be endless.

Sometimes I’ve had success with a few of those tools other times they’ve never seemed to work even when I thought I was doing them right and in fact there’s been a few times where my attempt to use them has even escalated the argument.

Initially I would end up being upset with myself, after the fact, because I would see how I repeatedly acquiesced to what she wanted.

I felt powerless in the face of her anger, like my only 2 options were to either fight back and argue or make her completely right.

It felt like no matter what I did or which road I went down I always ended up feeling terrible after every argument.

Before I get into the 3 ways that work best for me it’s first important to understand that these methods don’t necessarily SOLVE the conflict, rather they provide an opening for something other than the conflict to occur.

In other words, they provide a good break for both myself and my wife to get perspective in the moment rather than constantly fighting for our differing points of view.

So they provide an interruption just long enough for emotions to calm down and give you the ability to regulate yourself a bit before you go back into the conflict.

Many of these may seem easy but they are counterintuitive and exceptionally hard to do when in the midst of a fight- but practicing and implementing can and will make all the difference for you.

  1.    Focusing on your breath and observation of your feeling

Taking some time out to breathe and observe what you are feeling.

This is a great way to collect your thoughts and make sure that when you resume your conversation you are properly resourced and not blaming yourself or her for your anger.

How do you do that?

In the midst of the fight I tell my wife that I need 5 minutes, and right there on the spot, I close my eyes and start focusing on my breathing. I witness my breath going in and coming out of my nostrils, observe which nostril it goes in and out through, notice if I’m breathing shallow or heavy – literally turning my entire attention to my breath.

After I’ve spent a few minutes focusing on my breath it will automatically regulate and slow down.

If you don’t have timer doing this for 10-20 breaths works too.

I then focus my attention on my feelings.

It’s important to understand that I’m not focusing on the story about my feeling (ie. Why I’m upset or who’s fault it is etc..) but rather I’m focusing on the feeling itself –  how it feels in my body and where it it shows up my body.

Perhaps it’s a tightness in my chest or tension in my back – through observation, I’m able to feel the feeling until it passes.

Taking a quick time-out to do this can really help center yourself so that you can be more resourced to go ahead and address and ultimately resolve the conflict in that moment.

  1.    Changing physiology

I’ve been using this one to great success recently. I’ve found that when I’m in a disagreement or full-on fight with my wife, changing my physical positioning can really help.

The purpose of this is simple – to move energy. If I can physically move my body when I’m feeling stuck or disempowered, it can be a great access to also impacting my emotional and psychological state as well.

It’s the law of inertia.

When energy is in motion it stays in motion and when it’s stagnant it takes more energy to get it moving and in motion again.

Sometimes when you are not in a powerful state it’s because your energy is stagnant – especially during times of conflict when you are in fight, flight or freeze mode.

Changing your physiology can look like walking around while thinking, standing up if you are laying down, or one of my particular favorites is literally dripping down and doing 10-15 push-ups in the middle of the fight. (this one is super hard to do and does not feel natural, and most of the time throws my wife off all together, but the result you feel are immediate and extremely effective).

  1.    Speak your desire

The big problem I’ve found in dealing with strong women is that when things get really heated, it might feel like you’ve got only 2 options to end the argument – either agree with her and take on her point of view OR keep fighting and arguing hoping that eventually she gives up and you can resolve it.

However in my experience speaking a desire or even a reassurance that you are both on the same side can go a long way to creating an opening to resolve the argument.

For instance, the other day my wife and I were in an argument and we were struggling to find common ground. And I said to her “You know, I can’t wait for the day that we can have conversations like this where we are both clear that we are on the same side”

I said this to her honestly. There was no judgment in my tone about us fighting nor was there any shaming her about how she was behaving, it was a heartfelt wish that I expressed openly that actually allowed her to see and be reminded of that fact that my ultimate wish is for us to be in love and rapport. This small act of truthfulness surprisingly seemed to allow her and the space to lose some steam and we were able to resolve things pretty quickly.

When I look back on this, I realize that speaking from a place of what I desire can really help interrupt the normal fight patterns that are at play for both my wife and I.

It helps her get grounded and seeing that even though I’ve clearly upset her (or her me), that we are still on the same side and that I really am partnering with her to work to a resolution.

(It also has her check in with herself on how she’s being and occurring during our confrontation – in other words is she being the woman she wants to be)

It certainly isn’t easy to be with a powerful woman and not be intimidated by her. It also makes it doubly difficult when you are in conflict and she seems unrelenting and challenging.

While making good use of these three things won’t necessarily always solve your conflict, they will offer you both an opportunity to gain perspective and power to help solve your conflict.

Every couple and relationship is unique. Each with their own mixed bag of love, pai and nuances. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any of us.

But if you love each other and you are committed to being a man of honor for both yourself and the relationship then you already have the tools to start creating a partnership that is extraordinary for you both.

These tools can help, but it is your own heart that will always be the ultimate compass.

What are some of the things you use to help you in conflict with your relationship? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to visit my Facebook page with any questions.

As always, in service of your relationship success,


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1 Comment
  1. I like “take a breath”.
    In my experience recently, my wife had some very strong feelings (negative) about something that I had done. In this case, what worked for me was “take about 1,000 breaths”. I just decided to listen that day, and we spent about an hour with me just listening. The next day, we were both in a different mental/emotional space, and I was then able to respond authentically with how I was feeling about what happened.
    For what it’s worth.

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