So many things can lead to conflict in a marriage: children, finances, work or meddling family members. Conflict in marriage is common. However, when a matter is brought up over and over again with no signs of resolution, then you and your spouse may have a problem.
Here is how you and your spouse can tell if you are in conflict:
- Do you yell, shout, insult or even throw things at each other in anger?
- Do you lose your temper with each other over the smallest things?
- Do you have difficulty talking about any problem calmly and reasonably?
- When one of you gets angry, does the other one stomp out of the room?
- Do you blame each other all the time?
A yes to any of the questions indicates a conflict you and your spouse need to resolve. Here are some steps to consider:
Take a time-out
When an argument gets too heated, stop it. Leave each other alone for about 15 minutes to cool down. Take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves.
Think it through
Time-out is useful only if you spend it thinking about what you’re really angry about (instead of fuming). Are you mad about what your spouse did or is your anger linked to something that happened in the past? Did you weigh the facts properly or are you responding based on emotions?
Return to the scene
Once you have both calmed down, face each other and try to talk things over calmly.
Understand each other’s needs
Ask what is truly bothering your spouse. Listen to him or her and try to understand. Then give your spouse a chance to understand how you feel. Do not attack him or her, but express your concerns honestly.
Reach a compromise
Think of ways to resolve the conflict together: suspend judgement and let the ideas flow. Narrow your list of ideas and upon discussion, agree on one that both of you can work towards.
When conflicts seem ‘un-solvable’
Marriage is a two-way street. Conflict resolution cannot happen unless you and your spouse want it. In cases when the conflict seems impossible to resolve and is seriously harming your marriage, do seek counselling. Call (03) 2693 7555 at LPPKN and make an appointment with a counsellor. They can give you and your spouse the expertise and the third party perspective you need.