Is Conflict Ruining Your Marriage?

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By Jean Tracy, NW Author
KidsDiscuss.com, Parent Newsletter

Of course, you want a successful marriage. You want your partner to love, honor, and cherish you. You promised the same to your partner. What happened? When two people marry, conflict will occur. That’s normal. How that conflict is solved holds the key to your happiness. Today I’ll give you a solution that will nourish your love, help you keep your vows, and solve your conflicts too.

Where Do Conflicts Start?

Conflicts start in your head. Your partner does something and you start thinking.

Let’s say your partner forgets your birthday. You feel hurt. To comfort yourself, you nurse your feelings with negative thoughts like:

If she loved me, she wouldn’t have forgotten.

He doesn’t care about me anymore.

She takes me for granted.

Partners nurse their feelings by looking for proof that their negative thoughts are right. They remember slights, criticisms, and past problems. This adds fuel to their self pity and their pain. In a twisted sort of way, self pity feels good. They may even think up ways to get even.

If this happens within you, you can change it. There is a solution.

My husband, a psychologist, introduced this method early in our 40 year marriage. He knew it was hard for me to express my concerns. He knew I held conflicts inside. He knew the conflicts would, like a boil, fester and burst. To avoid your conflicts from boiling and bursting, consider doing what we did.

The Solution for Conflicts in Marriage:

Make a date once a week.

Bring a notebook for jotting down your commitments.

Discuss the results of your commitments from last week to make your marriage better.

Ask your partner “Is there anything I did this past week that you wish I had done differently?” (Avoid the word “wrong.”)

Listen.

Ask your partner, “What do you wish I had done instead?”

Listen again.

Make a new commitment to improve the situation. It must be acceptable to both of you.

Answer your partner’s question, “Is there anything I did last week that you wish I had done differently?”

Continue the same process.

Write down both of your commitments in the notebook.

Work on them during the week.

Go over your commitments on your date next week to see how each of you did.

Repeat the process.

Conclusion for Solving Conflicts in Marriage:

Can you see how this problem solving date kept our conflicts from festering within our marriage? Can you hear the respect with which we treated each other? You can do it too. Make a weekly date. Spend part of it solving your conflicts and the rest of it having fun.

There are those who would say, “This takes too much time. It’s too mechanical. We should just love each other.”

I say, “Why ruin your marriage with unsolved conflicts? Why not use a simple date, a respectful discussion, and a notebook to help you? Why not make weekly commitments to strengthen your marriage and your love?”

It’s your choice. It’s your marriage. Why not make it a good one? You have the power and the solution.

Jean Tracy, MSS, invites you to subscribe to her FREE top-rated Parenting Newsletter, “Tips and Tools for Character Builders” at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

End your conflicts and increase your love with Jean Tracy’s e-book, Parents in Love ~ 121 Dating Ideas at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parents_in_love.asp

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