How to Resolve Conflict in Your Marriage

Conflict doesn’t destroy marriages. It is the inability to resolve a conflict that is so destructive. It is often the harsh words or tone that are used during a conflict that is most lasting and causes hurt feelings to linger long after the conflict is resolved.

We have found that if couples will set a few ground rules for their relationship when they are in a good place, that they agree to follow when things get a little heated, it can save a lot on the lingering hurt feelings.  Here are “9 Rules for Discussion” that are healthy to follow in any discussion or argument.

RULES FOR DISCUSSION

  1. Speak in a quiet voice.
  2. Do not interrupt.
  3. Do not bring up the past.
  4. Do not blame.
  5. Do not use profanity.
  6. Do not criticize.
  7. Use “I feel” statements, not attacking “you” statements.
  8. State your feelings, not your partner’s.
  9. Never threaten your relationship.

When you a recurring argument or something big that you are disagreeing on that threatens the strength of your marriage if it doesn’t get resolved, it is good to have a plan of action to rely on that will help you reach a resolution. Here is a time-tested formula of “Ten Steps to Resolve Conflict.”

TEN STEPS TO RESOLVE A CONFLICT

  1. Define the issue to be resolved.
  2. Set a time to meet. (Be sure to set it off a little bit so you have time to prepare for your discussion)
  3. Set a private place to meet.
  4. Each begins by praying.
  5. Each shares your position. (This is your opportunity to vent using the Rules for Discussion)
  6. Each points out what he or she has done to contribute to the problem.
  7. Each points out what he or she can do to help resolve the issue.
  8. Agree on a resolution that is acceptable to both.
  9. Write down the resolution.
  10. End in prayer.

If you would like to see a role play of this method, click here.

Remember, conflict doesn’t destroy marriages. It is the inability to resolve a conflict that festers and damages the marriage. Conflict dealt with in a healthy way, can actually draw a couple closer together.

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