Conflicts are unavoidable. When conflicts are left unresolved, frustration sets in because of the lack of progress towards resolution. Feelings of anger and resentment fester and the conflict may worsen over time. Becoming proactive in seeking and implementing solutions contributes to a sense of empowerment and success.
In relationships such as a marriage you may be faced with more conflicts than in any other relationship. This is because in marriage, differences in value systems, parenting styles, belief systems, and spiritual practices become particularly apparent and relevant. A productive, realistic goal is to address conflicts as they happen and develop mutually satisfying resolutions.
The following tips will help you define, communicate about, and resolve your conflict:
- Schedule a time for the talk by mutual consent. Both of you need the opportunity to be ready. If the talk is a result of an immediate conflict, it must be scheduled within 24-48 hours of the time that you approached your partner about it.
- Stick to the present. Do not bring up past examples. It detracts from the issue at hand.
- Discuss only the subject presented. Listen to your partner and validate what you hear, even if you disagree.
- Do not hit below the belt. Living together exposes each other’s vulnerabilities. Using this knowledge in a conflict is hurtful, manipulative, and damaging to the relationship.
- Respect crying and all other expressed emotions. Do not get sidetracked though because of expression of feelings.
- Work it out. Compromise on issues that are more important to your partner, and vice versa.
Using this method may initially feel awkward and artificial. Please, give it a chance as it has been proven to reduce conflicts and improve relationships.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Please let me know what works in your relationship and what doesn’t. Learning from one another is very helpful and powerful.