(…) conflit is in fact as much a part of love as physical affection, thought for most people it’s not nearly as enjoyable. Unlike hugs, kissing, sex, and other kinds of touch (which also require active listening to be felt meaningfully), the emotional touch of conflict is often what divides instead of unites a couple, since it so often leads to the anger axis described above: bickering arguments and worse. It is an outlet for tensions that arise out of everything from banal matters like daily logistics and housework, to attitudes toward weightier matters like ways of being, fidelity, and fundamental world-views. Yet as most of us know, all matters can become weighty during conflit if we don’t stay aware of how perception works in oneself, NOT just in the other person.

—Beau Lotto, Deviate, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018