Throughout the course of a marriage, there are a number of speed bumps that will pop up along the way. Things like children, career changes or advancements, moves, and money troubles can all have negative effects on your marriage. Many couples live under the myth that when one or more of these issues begin to pile up that it’s a sign it’s time to move on from the marriage. However, this is not always the case. In fact, this is rarely the case. The truth is, life happens and it is going to keep happening. The purpose of good conflict resolution in a marriage is to help both you and your partner take on life together. Not as two separate people. Here are 3 things to try before giving up on your marriage.
1. Complain Without Blaming
Complaining is a really easy and real nasty habit to get into. What’s even worse than complaining is blaming. You and your partner should be able to talk about specific issues rather than broadly complaining and attacking your partner. For example, say you and your partner agreed to call each other every day at the end but they didn’t call. Rather than saying, “you’re so selfish. You never follow through!” Remind your partner that you both agreed to check in with each other.
2. Repair Conflicts with Skill
Putting aside resentments can and will destroy your relationship over time. Most conflicts within a marriage rarely get resolved. Being able to bounce back together from an argument rather than avoiding conflict altogether is key to a happy, healthy marriage. Couples who avoid conflict totally are more likely to build up resentments and end up in divorce.
3. Stay Focused
It’s really easy when you’re angry to get off topic when you’re discussing one thing that you’re upset about. This can lead to name calling and attacking your partner. It’s so important to avoid any character attacks or name calling during an argument. Anger is always an underlying symptom of hurt, fear, and frustration. These three emotions are natural, so don’t punish yourself or your partner for feeling these things. Stay focused on what the issue is and how you would like it resolved.
Marriage is work. It’s not always going to be easy and some days are really going to test your patience. However, there are healthy and positive ways you and your partner can resolve natural and normal arguments along the way. Speed bumps in life and relationships are and should be expected. However, not every couple is equipped with the right conflict resolution skills needed for successful relationships. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate in a positive and productive manner with each other, call us today to speak with one of our highly trained counselors.