One thing we know for sure is that in today’s world of romantic reality shows, mobile apps and fake social media pages: REAL relationships take work! We hardly ever “swipe right,” fall in love and live happily ever after automatically. And when it gets tough, it is tempting to throw in the towel, say “it wouldn’t work any way” and move on – instead of doing the work to learn ways to resolve conflict in marriage.
All couples argue from time to time, it’s just a part of life and relationships. Having arguments or conflicts doesn’t always mean the relationship is in jeopardy either. In fact, there are some arguments that help bring couples even closer than they were before. The most important thing is how you and your partner resolve the conflicts in your marriage.
You are already reading about how to resolve conflicts in marriage, so you have already come up with the first step. The key is you have to REALLY want to save your relationship or marriage. If there is that drive, you need to learn how to turn it into concrete action that can repair what is broken, overcome underlying tensions and eventually save your relationship. Sounds simple right?
Skills to Resolve Conflicts
Couples that don’t have great conflict resolution skills usually have a fight and then proceed to flee or freeze. Either of these behaviors just results in the couple staying mad, and even holding grudges for a couple of years. They tend to avoid or flee from important problems and simply sweep them under the rug. However, this can lead to a series of endless conflicts that don’t end in a solution at all. If you tend to emotionally freeze or shut down when it comes to conflicts, it cannot result in a resolution at all. You might find yourself going through the motions on the outside but not really caring about the relationship or bond on the inside.
Successful couples are the ones how to have the uncanny ability to solve their problems and move on from the conflict. They are able to focus on resolving the issue instead of attacking the individual. Even when they are angry, they can detach enough to solve the issue. They are also able to learn and grow from the conflicts so that the relationship actually ages well –only getting better with time.
If you want to learn ways to resolve conflict in marriage in such a way that you can improve your bond, here are some ways to do just that.
Resolving Conflicts Despite Differences
If you want to resolve conflicts as a couple, you have to do it while accepting, knowing, and adjusting to the difference you both have. One reason why conflicts can emerge in a marriage is when the relationship is based on attraction between opposites. It can sometimes happen that people who tend to move slowly through life are matched with people who move through life at breakneck speeds. It can be quite strange, but the differences are often why people get married. The differences help to add some spice, variety, and balance to your life.
But after some time into the marriage, the traits that attracted you at first may start to repel you. You may find that you are arguing over small irritations like not putting the cap back on the toothpaste tube. Some people may begin to argue about major philosophical differences such as raising children, social causes, politics, or handling finances. You may begin to wonder why you both are even together when your personalities or background is so dissimilar.
The most important thing that partners can do is to understand these differences and then accept them. Only through acceptance can you learn to adjust according to the differences. You may start to find the differences help balance out your personality.
Resolving Conflicts by Letting Go of Selfishness
Differences in marriage can magnify our own selfish or sinful nature, which is a source of conflict in a relationship. Maintaining harmony in your relationship can be quite difficult. If both the partners try to go their own separate or selfish ways each time, they will always have conflicts. If we continue to force our partner to accommodate our preferences and choices, without ever taking into account their needs, you will create conflict in the marriage at once. Looking out for number one isn’t the goal in a long-term relationship.
Marriage is one bond where you will spot plenty of opportunities to be selfish, but you mustn’t give in to this urge. We must be willing to take a secondary place in this relationship at times when it is necessary, or even when it’s not. Winning the fight isn’t the answer to the conflict since there is no prize for winning here by making the other person lose. We need to give up, give all, and give in when the situation calls for it.
To experience a better resolution to any conflict, you may need to give up the will you have so that the other person can be happy. This doesn’t mean that you become a pushover and give in at the wrong moments. It simply means that you should compromise and listen to your partner as well, even if it means giving up what you wanted to do.
Resolving Conflict by Pursuing the Partner
As much as you can, you should try to live peacefully with your partner without picking fights or getting irritated without reason. The longer you stay in a relationship, the more you will realize how tough staying peaceful is. Living peacefully with someone means you have to pursue peace too. This means that you have to take the initiative to resolve the conflict rather than waiting for your partner to take the first step.
By reaching out first, it will show your partner that you still care for them and want to come to a solution. This can make it easier for them to compromise, as well. Instead of holding on to your ego or pride, the best solution is to seek out your partner so that you can fix the problem you are having.
Seeking a solution to the conflict you had means setting aside the anger, hurt, or bitterness you are feeling. It means that you should lose heart and instead hope to resolve the conflict as seamlessly as possible. What this means to remain in a steadfast connection with your spouse despite the conflict you are in. This will show them that you still appreciate and love them. It will definitely help you both if you don’t try to isolate yourself from each other, even if you are in an argument. There will be more opportunities to resolve the conflict if you stay together.
Resolving Conflict through Loving Confrontation
The thing about being in a marriage is that there should be some friendship in the mix as well. If your spouse feels like they have a friend in you who will understand, listen, and work through an issue, they will be more reciprocal to you. If you want your partner to trust that you will attempt to be their friend, you have to offer some loving confrontation.
Even if you have a problem with your partner, you can handle with tact and grace. You need to show humility and patience instead of coming off as righteous and superior.
Here are a few tips to confront your partner in a loving way.
- Check the motivation behind your confrontation: Will you help bridge the gap or cause more isolation? Will the words you’re about to say hurt or help your partner?
- Check the attitude you are going with: You need to confront your partner in a way that shows care and respect as well as make them feel as though you want to know their thoughts. You don’t want to go with the attitude that makes them feel run down instead of loved.
- Check the environment and circumstance: You need to make sure that the setting, location, and timing are all right so that your partner feels safe in the space. Don’t confront your partner when they are dealing with a child’s bath time, are hard at work, making dinner, or in public. It is better to do it in a space where they feel comfortable enough to not be burdened by your confrontation.
- Check on other pressures: There may be other issues or pressures that you haven’t thought about that are making your partner feel this way. Try and put your partner’s context in order.
- Listening to your spouse: Try and understand what their point of view is on the matter. You should attempt to ask questions to make sure you understand their perspective clearly.
- Be ready to take it too: If you are planning on dishing it out, you should be ready to take it too. After giving your partner some advice, it may turn out that this is your problem too.
- Stick to one issue: Don’t drag other arguments or fight into something else. If you don’t, you will end up with a messy situation.
- Don’t get personal: Try to focus on the problem at hand rather than focusing on the individual. Instead of focusing on your partner being a spendthrift, try and focus on how you need to plan for finances better so that you can save money.
- Focus on yourself rather than making “you” statements: Instead of saying, “You don’t care about me. You just want to go with your friends all the time.” try to say, “I feel frustrated because you always end up going with your friends and leaving me alone. I would appreciate it if you spent some time with me too or planned some dates.”
- Focus on whatever facts you know instead of assumption: Instead of assuming that your partner doesn’t like spending time with you, you should ask why they don’t take you out as much. You will be able to understand their side of the issue too.
All you should focus on is to make sure that you are resolving the conflict instead of focusing on who is losing or winning the argument. Be respectful and loving throughout the issue instead of blowing up at them without reason.
Conflicts through Forgiveness
No matter how much effort or love you put into the relationship, there will be times when you fail or make a mistake. The same goes for your partner. This can cause you or your partner to feel hurt, but you can always soothe it over with forgiveness.
To maintain a happy, open, and intimate relationship with your partner, you should grant and ask for forgiveness as quickly as you can. If you prolong the process or hold on to the grudge, you may just worsen the situation for yourself and your partner.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean just saying the words and holding on either. If you forgive the person, you have to let it go of the resentment you feel too. You shouldn’t have any desire to punish your spouse or bring the issue up later just to hurt them.
Conflicts through Blessings
If you face an insult, you should always return it with a blessing. If your partner is angry or frustrated, you shouldn’t return the favor by insulting them too. You should be kindhearted, sympathetic, and humble instead. If you are quick to anger, too, it will result in a fight that you both end up regretting. If your spouse is angry, it can be better to let them vent and calm down instead of picking up arms too.
No marriage can last for a long time if either of you begins to insult each other whenever a conflict arises. Being patient during such times can be the only solution you have to resolve the conflict.
The key to a loving and successful relationship will also reside in how you handle each other at your worst. To resolve conflict in your marriage, you have to be mindful of each other and respect the other person. If you are still unable to resolve the issue at hand, you may want to try marriage coaching. A professional will be able to help you both find better ways to express yourself and resolve issues. Need to talk with a professional relationship coach? Contact Marriage Means Moore for a FREE Consultation!