Look kids, there’s Big Ben!

Sometimes when couples face conflict, they may feel like the Griswolds, trapped in a constant circle with no obvious way out.  As frustrating as it may seem, they may often the cause of their own frustration.

In the clip, Clark enters the roundabout and is instantly pointing out the external distractions rather than focusing on getting through the roundabout.  As more cars enter and leave the roundabout, Clark panics and keeps making the same mistake over and over again, which keeps him circling the roundabout until it appears as if he may go insane.  You’ll notice he keeps mentioning Big Ben, which (subconsciously) seems to be his distraction and his downfall.

This can often be what conflict in a relationship feels like too. We enter a conflict and constantly circle past it..then back to it…then past it..then back to it.  Rather than focusing on the issue, we let external distractions take away our focus until we panic and circle back to the issue at hand.

Rather than circling a roundabout of conflict, we should attempt to enter the conflict with a clear goal in mind.  The goal isn’t “to be right” or “to win”, the goal of entering the conflict should be to understand the other person and find a way to make things work for both people involved.  Keep focused on the issue, tackle one issue at a time (don’t say things like “you also..”, “another thing..”, etc.,), and make sure you eliminate distractions until the conflict is resolved.

Roundabouts aren’t a difficult obstacle in real life driving.  Don’t let them become a difficult obstacle in your relationship.