How to resolve conflicts in marriage (PtII)
Published On May 3, 2014 » 1974 Views» By Administrator Times » Features
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Family life - new logoConflicts in marriage are inevitable.  This is so because husbands and wives view thingS differently, and marriage would be very dull if they didn’t.
But out of these differences disagreements can arise, and from disagreements, conflicts arise that result in highly emotional states of frustration and anger.
Often, couples view conflicts with horror, believing that it threatens their relationships.
This misconception causes some to avoid conflict by refusing to acknowledge its presence by running away from it, and by forcing feeling underground.
But ignoring conflicts does not solve them.
In fact, serious problems sometimes develop when problems are bottled up inside and are not released.
A few simple rules can lead to constructive problem solving.
1. Choose the best time and place.  It is best to keep current when solving conflicts, but if either of you is angry or unreasonable, then, postpone the discussion.  Don’t delay it for too long.
And if your partner does not bring up the issue again, then take the initiative to solve the problem.
Try to discuss major issues late at night – decisions made during the day when the body is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted are likely to be emotional ones.
A better plan would be to sleep on it overnight and arise an hour early.
Organised families set out a special time each week as ‘gripe night’ when they look at some of the outstanding issues.
This eliminated unpleasant conversation during meal times.
This allows issues to be discussed before they get out of hand.
2. Say it straight.  State your feelings openly and respectfully through the use of ‘I message’.  Speak directly, clearly, without anger.
Include the reasons why you hold your opinion.
Speak in a controlled manner, lowering your voice rather than raising it.
3. Stay on the subject.  Stick with one problem until you solve it.
The more problems brought up at one time, the less likelihood that any of them will be solved.
It is necessary to prepare an agenda on a sheet of paper.
4. Show respect.  You may not agree with your mate’s position.  You may be violently opposed.
But you can still respect his right to have his opinion.
There should be no name calling, no wild threats of divorce or suicide, no remarks about in-laws or relatives, no put-down about appearance or intelligence, no physical violence, no yelling and no interruptions.
5. List the solutions.  When feelings have been described openly and constructively, brainstorm every possible solution regardless of how far-fetched it may seem, but do not appraise them at this time.
6. Evaluate the solutions.  Once all the available information has been aired, the two of you can make an intelligent choice as to the course of action most likely to succeed.
Go back through the list and share thoughts on the consequences as you evaluate each solution.
7. Choose the most acceptable solution.
Commit yourselves to choosing the solution closest to meeting the needs of both of you or the needs of the needs hurting the most.
This choice may take a good measure of negotiation and compromise.
Winning should not be the goal, because where there is a winner there must also be a loser, and no one likes to lose.
8. Implement the decision.  Decide who is to do what, where, when, and when.
Once you reach a decision, remember that two persons often perceive agreements differently.
Only friendly negotiations can solve some conflicts.
A couple that cares about each other should be able to work things out according to how important each one considers his or her needs at the time.
A solution can be reached easier when each person is willing to see the problem from the other’s viewpoint.
One of my favorite writers by the name of Ellen G. White says, “A religious experience is gained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer.
The steps to heaven must be taken one at a time, and every advance step gives strength for the next” (Counsels to parents and Teachers and students p. 100.).
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