Dealing With Conflicts in a Marriage
Marriage is all about having a love and mutual respect for each other. Nevertheless, it would be impossible to sustain a marriage thinking that life was always going to be a ‘bunch of roses’ all of the time.
Even for the most loving couples, marriage needs to be constantly worked at and nurtured and disagreements and conflicts are inevitably going to occur from time to time. It’s how you approach the difficulties that are inevitable in all marriages that will help to keep your marriage strong.
Dealing With ConflictsThere can be occasional conflicts within a marriage that can involve many different kinds of issues so it’s only possible to give a few examples here. However, these examples are common situations that can arise in any marriage – the important similarities they all have being that to resolve all conflicts, you have to communicate with each other openly and be prepared to make sacrifices and compromises now and then.
Be RespectfulThe only way you can deal with conflicts satisfactorily without them boiling over into arguments is to show respect towards each other. There is no chance of doing that if you let a conflict escalate into a slanging match. You need to be able to shut up and listen to your spouse and let them finish what they are saying without interruption, before you respond.
Whenever your spouse airs a grievance or wants to tell you how they feel, pay close attention to what they are saying and don’t go on the defensive.
Don’t Make AssumptionsYou should never make assumptions about what your spouse is thinking, saying or doing. If you’re not clear about anything, ask them to explain things more clearly.
Making sweeping generalisations is also a bad thing to do. Using words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ when you’re in disagreement about something is unfair and almost certainly untrue.
Don’t Use Derogatory Names and Put Labels on Your SpouseUsing bad language or insulting your spouse is going to inflame the situation. If something has upset you, don’t retort by labelling your spouse by describing them as ‘fat’, ‘stupid’, ‘lazy’ ‘mean’ and by using other disparaging terms. Instead, take the focus away from your spouse and tell them how something they’ve done has made you feel, when certain things have happened that have upset you.
The Importance of ‘Time Outs’All conflicts in a marriage cannot be resolved straight away. People need time to think and reflect sometimes before an appropriate resolution can be found. So, you should make it a point to both agree to take ‘time out’ if things start escalating into what could turn out to be a full blown argument.
Simply saying to your spouse that you’re going to leave things there for now and that you can both agree to talk again about an issue when the time’s right and the situation’s less emotionally charged will often take the heat out of a situation. It will enable you to avoid arguments and to resolve issues when some time has elapsed and you’re both feeling in a calmer, more rational state to discuss things.