I remember hearing the wisdom that conflict breeds intimacy for the first time. I didn’t interpret it as wisdom at the time, but I have seen this bear fruit in most cases. Conflict is often painful and is something we naturally try to avoid. It is all too often looked at as a negative reality rather than a catalyst to growth and intimacy. As I have leaned into conflict over the years I have see the positive side of conflict time and time again.
I believe one of the reasons that conflict breeds intimacy is that it helps us get at the real issues in relationship. If we choose to address the conflict we begin to get to know the other person (people) on a different level. This allows us to see things from their perspective and began to appreciate their point of view. Conflict often asks bigger questions of ourselves and causes us to explore our own thoughts and convictions. Of course, for conflict to move us toward intimacy reconciliation must be a desire of both parties.
I am convinced that I would not have deep relationships with my wife, family and closest friends were it not for conflict. I don’t go looking for conflict, but I certainly do embrace it when it comes, knowing that the relationship has great potential to move toward intimacy.