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Conflict Resolution In Marriage

Arguments in marriage are going to happen. There is no way around it. The problem with arguing is that neither party really gets what they want. The verbal attacks go back and forth until one person cannot take any more of it and gives up. What is left are hurt feelings from the verbal abuse that both parties used as weapons. When people get into arguments their emotions run wild and many times there is no control in what is being said or felt at the time. Many couples will say to their partner, “You are not listening to me!”

The fact is that neither of them is listening because it’s almost impossible to really listen when your adrenaline is racing and your mind is finding ways to retaliate to what your partner is saying. Arguments leave couples bitter, resentful and unsatisfied. This leads to feeling unfulfilled in the relationship. When you have an argument that does not end in a resolution but surrender from either party, the problem still exists. The argument did not accomplish anything except add more fuel to the fire.

In conflict resolution, it is important for the person who initiates the conflict to speak calmly and unthreatening to their partner. Using “I” statements works well when bringing up a conflict. Statements such as, “I feel unappreciated because I am always picking up clothes from the floor, I would like it if we could place them in the laundry basket” rather than saying, “You always leave all of your clothes on the living room floor and I always have to pick it up, can you just put them where they belong?”. As you can see, the latter statement clearly is an attack statement. As soon as, “You” is placed in a statement which could result in a conflict the other person begins to become defensive. When you approach with an “I” statement, the person doesn’t feel as threatened and is able think clearly enough to agree. Marriage is about give and take and couples are not always going to get along.

The key is to understand that partners have needs and sometimes those needs are not going to coincide. Sometimes it is going to come down to figuring out what each partner can do for each other to make each person feel that they have resolved whatever feelings they are experiencing at the time.

It’s important to try and talk about situations before they get out of hand. Many couples will hold things that make them upset so that they don’t have to get into an argument but the problem is that it makes it worse when they do bring something up later on. Not only do the couples begin to argue about the immediate problem but the things that made them angry weeks ago. So remember to communicate in your marriage and bring up problems as they arise. You will both be happier in your marriage and your life.

By Marcelina Hardy

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