3 Key Steps to Resolving Conflict in Marriage
All too often the easy way out of conflict in marriage means sacrificing future stability for a short-term solution. Healthy marital interaction requires a heavy dose of humility and–to a certain degree–self sacrifice. More importantly there must be a concerted effort to share the responsibility and burden of communicating and problem solving. It takes two to succeed in marriage, and resolving marriage conflict is much more manageable when you and your spouse are part of a united and organized front.
Here are 3 essential steps to building your confidence and conflict management skills to a successful level:
- The Game Plan: Any successful venture is built in an organized fashion. Know yourself and your own needs and communicate those to your spouse. The first step to avoiding conflict in marriage involves (a) learning each other’s boundaries, (b) communicating what you and your spouse need long-term to maintain a healthy and happy marriage, and (c) determining what steps to take to resolve issues without anger and resentment making a problem more volatile. Whether you need ten minutes of cool-down time or a peaceful short drive, the most important part is understanding each other’s methods of handling conflict and creating a plan that works for both of you.
- Humility: Whether you aspire to an open and communicating method of conflict management or not, maintaining a level of humility is absolutely necessary. Being right at the cost of your partner’s happiness solves nothing. Be willing to talk out your problems, but be even more open to listening and realizing that pointing fingers rather than accepting your part in the problem will only serve to isolate you from your spouse.
- Perspective: No step to resolving conflict in marriage is more important than your ability to view your marriage and its speed bumps and obstacles from an objective perch. Often your emotions are closely tied to previous issues, so avoid weighting your communication down with unnecessary expectations and baggage from past issues. Approach each situation with an open mind and a willingness to try to understand the nature of the problem before assuming you already know the answers.
It would be a tragedy to assume that there is a defined art to conflict management that only incorporates 3 steps to success. These steps are intended as a guide to building a foundation to healthy conflict resolution, not an exact blueprint. There is no universal answer or guide to solving marital problems, but there is always hope.