3 Tips for Managing Conflicts in Your Marriage
Conflicts are inevitable in all relationships. For married couples, disagreements can either create a rift or serve as a building block to strengthen their union. Oftentimes, conflicts are not why a marriage falls apart; it is how couples deal with them. If you are currently struggling to make your marriage work, here are some tips to help you resolve conflicts healthily and constructively.
Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is crucial in any relationship. To keep your marriage healthy, make it a point to discuss any issues with your partner regardless of how trivial they may seem. Be honest, respectful, and avoid pointing fingers. Share your innermost thoughts and emotions. Effective communication is a two-way process, so make sure to actively listen when your spouse is pouring their heart out. Pay attention to their body language and how you respond. Be mindful of how you communicate nonverbally, since your partner may be interpreting your expressions. Aside from discussing your problems, remember to highlight the positive aspects of your relationship as well. If you cannot talk openly or express your sentiments, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.
Create a safe and conducive environment
When your spouse is angry and accusatory, it is natural to feel defensive and retaliate. Sometimes, minor issues tend to get more serious to the point that you end up hurting each other with words and actions. Sadly, some couples become physically abusive to one another. If you want to resolve your conflicts, you need to create an emotionally safe environment. Let your spouse feel that they can talk to you about anything without being judged. Always try to give your partner the benefit of the doubt and let them explain their side. Focus on the conflict at hand and stop bringing up their past mistakes. When you remove your judgments, you will be able to see your spouse from a place of compassion. In doing so, you will be able to disagree with them without being hostile.
Find the root cause of the conflict
Rather than constantly trying to push your point across, try to look at the bigger picture. Some conflicts arise from unaddressed needs and issues. If your spouse seems to focus on the little things, try to assess where their feelings may be coming from. For instance, if they appear to be upset whenever you come home late, they might just be concerned for your safety. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and try to imagine how you will feel and react. Carefully analyze your actions and remember that in most cases, there could be a bigger issue at hand that you need to focus on. Consider working on your conflicts when you are both calm and level-headed. To further help you resolve these conflicts, there are several couples counseling strategies that you can utilize at home. You can check the list of exercises here. These exercises may be able to facilitate a more open and honest conversation between you and your spouse and help you strengthen your marriage.
Marriage is not always easy. There will also be conflicts that you need to work on. As long as you are both willing to work together despite your differences to find common ground, then you will be able to make your marriage last for a lifetime.