Every marriage has conflict. It’s an unavoidable part of married life. Unfortunately, many couples approach conflict as a situation where one person is pitted against the other. This type of mentality can quickly turn a disagreement into a full-fledged argument that can leave both parties feeling hurt and unheard. The truth is, when it comes to addressing the issue, it should always be you and your partner against the problem—not each other. Let’s explore some of the ways that healthy couples use this approach to handle conflict in their marriage.
The Power of Teamwork
When couples think of conflicts an opportunity to team up against the problem, rather than facing off against each other, they are more likely to reach a resolution that works for both of them. Working together to solve problems means that both partners will feel heard and understood—and often times, this “teamwork” approach leads to successful compromises between them. When spouses see each other as allies rather than adversaries during conflicts, they are more likely to find common ground in order to create peace and harmony in their relationship. Working as a team can show up in how you handle household tasks, how you communicate, and more.
The Benefits of Positive Communication
Anytime you are talking through a problem with your spouse, it’s important that you use positive language instead of attacking words or phrases that could make them feel belittled or attacked. Talking about the issue in an understanding way helps create an atmosphere where both people feel safe enough to express their feelings without fear of being judged or criticized for them. Remember, when discussing issues with your partner it is always better to focus on how you feel rather than attacking how they feel about it—this will help keep the conversation civil and productive for everyone involved.
Conflict Resolution Strategies
When couples are trying to resolve conflict together in their marriage, there are several strategies they can use to help ensure success. One strategy is called active listening—which is basically just making sure both people listen attentively without interruption before responding thoughtfully and respectfully with their own opinion on the matter at hand. Another strategy involves asking open-ended questions such as “What do you think would be the best solution here?” This encourages both parties to come up with their own ideas for resolving the conflict while also considering what their partner thinks might work best too. Finally, take breaks if necessary; sometimes taking some time apart can help clear heads and allow couples to return refreshed and ready to tackle the problem at hand without letting emotions get in the way.
No marriage is perfect; even if two people have been together for years, conflicts in marriage will still arise from time-to-time (even over small things!). But by approaching these conflicts as “you and me against the problem” instead of “you vs me” mentality, spouses can work together towards handling these conflicts while strengthening their bond in the process. With patience and understanding, any couple can learn how navigate difficult conversations successfully–allowing them greater joy and satisfaction in their marriage.