Everyone says conflict resolution is one of the most important things a couple can master in their relationship. Coming from a relationship where there was absolutely zero conflict resolution-if you didn't like the way it was, then that was just too damn bad- I feel very strongly that being able to communicate and compromise when problems come up is extremely important. And that no problem is unimportant. If it is important to the other person, it should be important to you- because they are important to you and so is their happiness in the relationship.
I have seen first hand what happens when you don't take that process seriously. Ignored issues turn to hurt, then resentment, then anger and before you know it- you don't feel anything positive for each other at all and then it's next to impossible to build those broken feelings up again.
But conflict resolution only works if both people involved take it seriously. Issues are always going to arise in any relationship. Even if the problem is a small one and may only be important to one person- it should still be talked about and a compromise should be agreed upon. Little issues can very easily and very quickly become extremely large issues if they are left to fester or buried deep inside.
The worst thing a person can do when their significant other comes to them with something needing to be addressed, is brush it under the rug. People don't just invent things to be hurt over. If they're bringing it to your attention, it means it's serious to them for whatever reason and you should give it the attention that you would expect if the tables were turned.
The second worst thing a person can do is go along with the conflict resolution just to appease or shut the other person up. Usually during this process, compromise is agreed to, 'deals' are struck, and promises are made. If I went along with the conflict resolution just to appease the other person, but in reality I had no intention of ever living up to my end of the bargain or just never made the effort to live up to my end of the bargain that was made, then I have just made the situation ten times worse.
Because what invariably happens is that the other person will see very quickly that I had no intention to keep my promises or didn't care enough to remember to keep my promises and in turn their hurt will magnify and the trust that was built up during conflict resolution is shattered. The faith that the other person had in me to understand their need for compromise on that issue is lost and very hard to get back. And then that person will begin to fail on their end of the deal as well, because it's very hard to give when you're getting nothing in return.
What will happen is that the next time there is a need for conflict resolution, that person will not fully trust me when I again make promises and agree to do certain things. In fact, they may just pull away from me all together and not even want to attempt to resolve anything because in their mind- "what is the point?"
So I really believe that not taking the process of conflict resolution and not following through on your promises, is a very dangerous thing to do. It will cause your relationship to deteriorate very rapidly and recovery from that is a long road.
Anyway, just some stuff I've been thinking about. Sorry to get all deep and crap, but sometimes my mind gets going and I need to get it down.