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Conflict vs. Fighting in Swinger Relationships

SDC Soul Mates for Life Dr Jay Liseth Ferraro Relationship Coaching Conflict
SDC Soul Mates for Life Dr Jay Liseth Ferraro Relationship Coaching Conflict
Conflict is NOT BAD, should not be avoided, and IS inevitable in every relationship. Conflict is growth seeking to happen in the form of an unmet need trying to express itself. The problem is most don’t know that nor how to communicate in ways that can get those needs met.

“Anybody can become angry; that is easy, but to be angry with the right person — and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” 
– Aristotle

People know how to talk — they don’t know how to communicate, and not understanding the difference can be deadly to your relationship. This is especially true if you open the boundaries of monogamy and expose your relationship to Consensual Non-Monogamy (CSM), where the territory is more complex, dynamic, and uncharted.

In the erotic lifestyle, if you have conflict in your relationship, you are likely to experience more of it as normal problems get magnified in the heat of erotically charged situations. If you don’t have a lot of conflict, you will likely be experiencing some because when you stretch the limits of conventionality conflict is a natural outcome: Vulnerability breeds insecurity, which absorbs conflict.


Meet Cali & Blake


Both are professionals — one a lawyer, the other a physician assistant. Blake is newly divorced and is still recovering from a neglectful vanilla marriage where he was controlled by a religiously committed dominating wife, and Cali has a history of care-taking men and losing her voice when it’s time to set boundaries. Both are new to the lifestyle and three years into exploring CSM. Blake’s fantasy is to see Cali with another man and then join in an MFM threesome. Cali reluctantly agrees to please Blake. He sets up the date, he interviews the new partner, and he arranges the scene. She drank a lot to relax, and the scenario was very erotically charged. Blake got more than he bargained for, and was triggered at how responsive Cali was to their new male friend. Serious conflict ensued following the scene. Blake scolded Cali for “doing things and acting in ways that you never do with me,” and demanded they “redo the scene,” and prescribed a list of things he expects her to do differently in the re-enactment. Days of conflict followed, and Cali is considering leaving the relationship. They have a long road ahead of them.


Conflict Can Be Necessary & Positive — IF You Do it Right


There’s a vast difference between “fighting” and “conflict.” When you go to a fight, you are out to win through dominance, where one exerts their supremacy physically, emotionally, and/or intellectually over another — not recommended!

By contrast, conflict is about reconciling differences and seeking to fulfill needs within the context of a common goal in pursuit of a collaborative outcome. The focus is on creating “shared consciousness” versus fortifying “my position,” the former creating intimacy, the latter causing divorce. Most couples “fight” and never experience positive “conflict” where vulnerability, growth, and learning can happen.

Conflict is NOT BAD, should not be avoided, and IS inevitable in every relationship. Conflict is growth seeking to happen in the form of an unmet need trying to express itself. The problem is most don’t know that nor how to communicate in ways that can get those needs met.


Dr. Gottman’s Marriage Success vs. Fail Research


One of our richest professional experiences has been the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. John Gottman, who has spent four decades conducting the most extensive and detailed research of anyone in the field on global samples following some couples for over 30 years to answer the question — “what makes marriages succeed or fail?”

John is the researcher able to predict, within 3 minutes of a 15-minute conversation with a 90% accuracy rate, whether that couple will divorce or not. His findings are not academic, but quite practical, and offer a different road map for managing different kinds of arguments couples might have.

This is especially important for those in the erotic lifestyle!


And The Science Says…


  1. Conflict is Inevitable and a Constant Part of Being in Relationship: Research on marriages that last longer than ten years and where people are happy and satisfied (they still like each other) shows that successful relationships have a lot of conflict, often about the same issues over time. Thus, when you choose a partner, you are also choosing a particular set of problems so, rather than trying to change your partner, you better learn some new and creative dance steps (Dan Wile, After the Honeymoon, 2008)!

  2. Most Conflicts Will Never Be Resolved: 69% of the issues couples fight about will continue for the duration of their relationships: When thinking about conflict in a relationship, it is important to discover whether a problem is Solvable or Perpetual. Dr. Gottman’s research has shown that 69% of relationship conflict is about “perpetual problems.” All couples have them — these problems are grounded in fundamental differences that every relationship will encounter. They are either core differences in your personalities that repeatedly create conflict or fundamental differences in your lifestyle needs and values.

  3. All Conflict is NOT Created Equal – Some Conflict Is Toxic to Your Relationship. In the “Love Lab,” Dr. Gottman and his team of researchers discovered a pattern of four behaviors that were especially toxic to marriages leading to almost certainty that those relationships would end in divorce.

If you do any of these, STOP IT and DO the anecdote below it!


CRITICISM Criticism is a personal attack against your partner’s character where you focus on their faults, chronically complain, and are negative about them. This is very different than a complaint. When criticism becomes a habit, it can create escalating conflict that can damage a relationship.
ANECDOTE Ask for what you want by making specific requests.

DEFENSIVENESSDefensiveness is where you blame, take no responsibility, and make your partner wrong for things without owning your contribution to them. Defensiveness is when you shift blame from yourself to your partner. Conflict is always a two-way street created by both partners.
ANECDOTE Take responsibility and own your contribution.

STONEWALLINGDisengaging, emotionally withdrawing, and putting up a wall where it’s impossible to connect. Stonewalling happens when your partner feels so overwhelmed and helpless about conflict that they just shut down and close themselves off from you. This lack of response often escalates the issue further.
ANECDOTE Calm yourself down, slow the action, and Turn Toward vs. Turn Away.

CONTEMPTDisrespect, disdain, and dishonor toward another. Contempt is a harmful form of disrespect. This includes mocking your partner with sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, mimicking, and/or using dismissive body language such as eye-rolling. Doing this makes your partner feel inferior, despised, and worthless.
ANECDOTE Demonstrate honor and respect as an act of grace and unconditional love.


Conflict itself is NOT the Problem. The Absence of Repair Is: Conflict, per se, is never the problem! The absence of repair (reconnecting, working through an issue to mutual understanding) when a conflict occurs IS a problem. A research study that followed 168 couples for 13 years discovered that the number one predictor of why couples divorce was not how often the couple fought, but how little affection and emotional responsiveness they offered one another (Huston & Caughlin, 2001, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). In fact, the purpose of all conflict is to meet unmet needs within the primary relationship. More specifically, the goal of conflict is emotional intimacy and connection.

Dr Jay and Liseth Ferraro Soul Mates for Life


Want to Learn How to Have Positive Conflict?


Anyone committed to having an extraordinary relationship, when they have the right tools, can create one. The Soul Mates for Life™ – Secrets of Relationship Mastery Live Event will facilitate transformation in couples who are in healthy relationships that want to take it to the next level and/or couples in challenging relationships committed to moving beyond them.


If Not Now, When?


We often hear this:

I’m too busy and have no time for a two-day seminar.

Yet, we make time for EVERYTHING else except our most important priority — the human being we live with and commit to loving.

We know, and we get it. We, too, are busy, and yet, we value our love to the degree that we choose to make time regularly and invest in that love. There are only two ways to live: by your standards or your stories for what’s possible or not. Be careful which one you make priorities from. Standards deliver consistent results aligned with reasonable expectations; stories deliver nothing but excuses that allow you to blame the narrative for not having what you want. Vanilla. Chocolate. Choose!

For those who say “there’s no time,” we say this:

You can’t afford not to invest the time in your primary relationship unless you’re not serious about creating an outstanding partnership based on love for a lifetime. A devitalized relationship that leads to divorce will be more costly and time-consuming than investing two days in learning what, why, and how to love your partner and create the conditions for a love that lasts and delivers true fulfillment.


Soul Mates for Life LIVE IN MIAMI!


Join us in Miami, FL for a truly special opportunity at one of our Soul Mates for Life Live Events (go to www.soulmateforlife.us to find out when our next program is), where you will participate in a small, intimate group with like-minded people all on the same path — to master the skills and strategies for how to love deeply, trust smartly, communicate bravely, and love for a lifetime.

If not now, when?

Please join us for one of our live programs, and let's design a future aligned with your values, goals, needs, and passion with your partner.

SEATS ARE LIMITED and do fill up quickly.

We look forward to meeting you in person!

With Love,

Dr. Jay and Liseth


Dr. Jay and Liseth

"Dr. Jay and Liseth bring a wealth of seasoned real-world experience to their work of ‘Relationship Mastery’ where together they coach, teach and facilitate programs (public seminars and private retreats) that teach the art and science of “soulmating” (erotic passion + deep friendship = lovers for life). Liseth is a self-made entrepreneur with successful businesses in real estate and international modeling. A Venezuelan goddess who manifested her vision in the United States by becoming a Master Certified Coach (with specialties in wellness, nutrition, life and relationship coaching) and who now works with women to unleash the power of their sacred feminine birthright to live passionate lives of their choosing. Along with her Soul-Mate, Dr. Jay Ferraro, she is co-founder of Soul Mates For Life, an international training, coaching and consulting firm dedicated to couples committed to designing extraordinary relationships of their choosing. The author of the best-selling book, “Surprised by Love” Dr. Jay has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America (Australia), The Dr. Drew Show, the Oprah Winfrey Network and is a regular contributor to O Magazine and Psychology Today taking on all the taboo topics others won’t touch. His work is international with celebrities, professional athletes and C-suite utives and their teams as an organizational psychologist and peak performance coach teaching his brand of personal and professional mastery. This dynamic duo bring credentials (licensed clinician/trained psychologist and master certified coach) and proven strategies that work sharing their passionate love story to inspire others to live full out as Soul-Mates For Life!"
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