Conflict and conflict resolution in marriage

There is no way to avoid conflict in your marriage, though many people believe that conflict in marriage is not always negative. This is not to say that marital conflict cannot have damaging effects on the mental, physical as well as the health of couples. One must note that the root of almost all serious marital discord is selfishness on the part of one or both parties.


Finances/money: how money is made and spent always constitute a major issue for conflict

Sex:   sexual satisfaction is another major area of conflict.  One of the partners may be denying the other or may lack interest in sex

Work: Couples need to be able to schedule their work activities in such a way that it does not tamper with the normal functioning of the home. Scheduling time to spend together on recreation can also be a way out of this

Parenting/Children: A child is the number one stressor in a marriage and can heighten differences in beliefs on issues like how to discipline etc

Chores: Many couples argue over equal distribution of household work.

Poor Communication Skills: Active listening and good communication skills is of great importance to couples. Couples must learn to communicate in healthy ways. Couples must learn and understand the moods of each other, know when to begin a communication and when not

In-law/ Sibling interference: In-laws and siblings can all create stress within a marriage. When coping with negative issues because of family, tread gently. Our spouse should come first but there are times you have to be willing to take a backseat and watch.

 Basic Steps on Conflict Resolution

1.Tolerance – One of the best ways to deal with conflict in marriage is to tolerate each other. Partners will have differences of opinion and that is okay – even healthy. You can still live together and love each other with many differences.

2.Agree to Cooperate with Each Other – If neither of you is unwilling to cooperate you   will never get anywhere. Cooperation is a key factor in conflict management. Stop fighting with each other and team-up. This requires a change in behavior and a realization that what you have been doing is not working, and perhaps even wrong.

3. Identify and Clarify the Issue – Figure out what the conflict or argument is all about. Many times we mistake misunderstandings, where we really agree with one another, for genuine differences of opinion.

4. Find Out What Each Person Wants – If you have a genuine difference of opinion, make a list of what each of you really want to happen.

5. Consider Your Partner’s Point of View – Honestly try to put yourself in the place of your partner. Try to see, feel, and experience the issue as they are. This can be a difficult thing to do because as C. Terry Warner says, “We see things in ways that assure us that our way of seeing them is correct.” Just remember that we may not been seeing things correctly.

6.  Identify Various Alternatives – This involves brainstorming and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can think of to the problem. Just spit them out and write them down initially. Don’t worry about whether they are good or bad.

7.  Negotiate and Compromise Negotiation and Conflict is a key factor in conflict resolution. In other for it to work both parties have to drop their superiority over each other in other to objectively look into each other’s ideas and opinion with the hope of forming  values that would be in the best interest of both parties.

Resolution of marital conflict

Below are a few tips on how couples can resolve their conflicts amicably

1.Couples should avoid fighting dirty

2.Improve on your communication skills

3.Learn to forgive one another; Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Remember that love keeps no record of wrongs

4.Couples should always have the interest of each other at heart

5.Avoid trading blames

6.Never fight dirty in the presence of your children

7.Confront your issues lovingly

8.Focus on the problem, rather than the person.

9.Focus on understanding your spouse rather than on who is winning or losing.

10.Don’t be a mind reader.

11.Never forget that your relationship with your spouse is far more important than “winning” an argument or “being right.

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