Marriage Conflicts

Unresolved marriage conflicts are the #1 reason why couples divorce. Typically, issues arise – as they do in all relationships – where both partners have opposite views. “There’s nothing wrong with that!” I hear you say, and you’re absolutely right. We’re all entitled to our own opinions. The problems start though when one or both partners refuse to discuss their differences, let alone entertain the idea of arriving at a compromise with their partner. From this point onwards, arguments are the order of the day, as each partner digs in, defending their ideals to the hilt in rages, tantrums and “walk-outs”, leaving the real issues looming larger than ever before!

So, how should we go about resolving marriage conflicts? Well, generally it is easier than you might think, as recognizing that a problem exists is the first step. The simple fact that you are reading this article shows that you have started to realize where the real problems lie.

Below is a four-step guide to help you overcome marriage conflicts and steer your marriage away from the gaping jaws of divorce.

1) Replace argument with discussion

It takes two to argue! Avoid the urge to bite back when a disagreement begins. Instead, tell your partner that you want to gain a better understanding of where he/she is coming from. Sit down with them, and find out what their motivations are for the views they hold, and try to empathize with the reasons where possible. This will help promote a sensible discussion and make your partner more receptive to what you have to say.

2) Find common ground

Having discovered the real motivations behind your partner’s viewpoint, you can set about finding common ground that you agree upon. You may find that you both want the same thing, but have different solutions on how to get there!

3) Be scenario-orientated

Explore different “what if…” scenarios to a situation, including how you would feel, how your partner would feel, as well as the likely consequences of following each scenario. You should both contribute to developing these scenarios, so you are both fully aware of what would happen in each case. For instance, if your partner wants to spend $3,000 on a new automobile, and that makes you scared, you should explore a minimum of three scenarios…

i) Your partner goes ahead and spends the $3,000 (what he wants)

ii) Your partner does not buy the $3,000 automobile and leaves the money in the bank (what you want)

iii) You and your partner AGREE to prepare an incoming / outgoing budget and identify where spending can be cut so $100 per month can be put aside to save for that $3,000 automobile ( the compromise)

4) Action

All things being equal, a middle-of-the-road scenario as in point (iii) above should be acceptable to you both. But, all this discussion is of little use in resolving marriage conflicts unless you take ACTION! Make sure you follow up on your commitment to the compromise scenario that you’ve come up with, and that your partner does the same.

 

 

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