Resolving conflict in marriage is not easy. But it can be done.
Do you remember the last time you argued with your spouse about which TV show to watch, whether the toilet seat should stay up or down, or how to fold the laundry?
These conflicts are likely to happen during the first few months or years of your marriage.
You are two unique individuals with two different personalities and opinions.
You will not agree on everything.
Conflict is inevitable.
Conflict in marriage can lead to communication problems, usually leaves bad feelings like anger, resentment, revenge, and can even cause a divorce to happen.
Hence, having conflicts with your spouse every day is not good for your marriage.
The more conflicts you have with your spouse, the more likely you are to argue, fight, and not be happy with your marriage.
And with each other.
Major conflicts that have to do with moral issues or conflicts that involve the safety of someone, or children are a little different; there is a right and a wrong.
And this post isn’t a one size fits all.
Today, we want to address how you, and your spouse can resolve regular conflicts in your marriage.
Causes of conflicts in marriage.
There are many causes of conflicts in marriages, some of which include:
- Quick temperament.
- Name calling.
- Lack of effective marriage communication with your spouse.
- Misunderstanding each other.
- Trust issues.
- Different marriage expectations.
- previous unresolved conflicts.
- Differences in opinions.
- Disagreement on how to spend money.
- When to have, and raise kids.
- Different childhood upbringing,
- Extra-marital affairs.
- Sex, not having enough or being deprived of it, or too much.
- Household chores and responsibilities etc.
This list could go on and on, but we want you to be able to resolve whatever conflicts you might have in your marriage.
Resolving conflict in marriage is not easy.
We both try to see things from each other’s perspectives and have an open mind.
After we each take a turn speaking and listening, we have a healthy debate for as long as we need to, until the conflict is resolved.
Or we can come to a compromise.
If we cannot compromise, or agree, we take a break.
Sometimes we may have to revisit a conflict a few times, or give it a day or so; it really depends on the issue.
The key is to be respectful, loving, open minded, and true to yourself.
The little secret that will help you prevent conflicts in your marriage.
Find. The. Root. Cause!
And solve it!
Don’t let something that is bothering you fester.
You will have to stop checking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media accounts and spend time with your spouse talking about the issues affecting your marriage, family, the conflicts, heated arguments etc.
Don’t keep it all in by avoiding to deal with your issues head on. Always be looking for ways to improve your marriage.
Ask your spouse, “What did you mean by this? I know you didn’t mean to hurt me but, I felt X when you said Y or did Z.”
How to resolve conflict in your marriage.
1. Have an open mind.
Drop any pre-conceived notions you have that will prevent you from talking, discussing, and resolving conflicts with your spouse.
2. Commit to solving the conflict or problem you have.
This commitment alone shows you are keen on resolving conflicts in your marriage.
3. Pay attention and listen when your spouse is talking.
Don’t be hostile! You want to be heard while talking to your spouse, so why not do the same for your spouse?
Practice empathetic listening, and try to understand it from your souse’s point of view, not that you have to agree.
4. Identify the root cause of the conflict.
And have a clear understanding of the conflict before trying to resolve it.
Without knowing the cause of your conflicts, it will be very difficult to resolve it irrespective of what steps or plan you take.
5. Take responsibility for your actions and emotions.
Don’t be defensive about them, be accountable.
6. Be willing to forgive your spouse, or ask for forgiveness.
7. Find solutions, compromise (a common ground) and implement the solutions you both agreed upon.
8. Think of it as a win-win for both of you.
In marriage, one spouse does not win while the other loses, you either win or lose together.
There you have it, no more excuses for fighting and arguing about your conflicts. It’s about time you resolved them with your spouse.
How to talk about it.
See where you both agree on something and use your differences to improve your marriage.
Figure out a plan that will help you, and your spouse to resolve conflicts in your marriage. For example, we do not buy any expensive item(s) unless we talk it over with each other and agree!
This has been the source of major frustrations at some points in our marriage.
For example, buying our first couch together in 2013 was a bit trying, to say the least!
We both had different ideas about which couch to purchase, but neither one of us was willing to give in to the others idea.
Through effective communication and compromise, we were able to agree on the couch we were both happy with.
This conflict helped us to learn new ways to communicate and how to compromise with each other.
It was not easy though.
You have equal rights and responsibilities in your marriage.
Your opinions matter equally.
At the first sign that we are disagreeing on something, and I feel that frustration starting, I stop and take a deep breath.
I clear my head and decide to have an open mind.
Then I will usually ask Marcus to explain clearly what he means, or why he is thinking this way so I can understand where he is coming from.
Most of our disagreements are results of misunderstandings, and this is one way to clear it up. – Ashley
Whenever we have a conflict, I ensure I am calm, relaxed, and patient. I try my best to listen and to understand Ashley’s point of view.
Sometimes I will not get it the first time, but after further explanation, I am able to understand what she means.
If it’s a heated argument, I take some time to calm down and think about the issue before we even work on a compromise.
It’s not easy having conflicts with Ashley but we have learned having conflicts is part of married life. – Marcus
Resolve your conflicts!
If conflicts in your marriage are resolved in a mature, respectful, and mutual manner, it will serve as an opportunity to grow.
You will learn new ways of doing things.
You will also improve your marriage, and live a happier life.
Remember that your spouse always has good intentions towards you, if you are in a healthy relationship.
Have you had any conflict in your marriage?
How did you resolve it? Share some of your conflict resolutions in the comments below.
Image courtesy Takmeomeo