“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
No Marriage is Free of Conflict
When you first got together, everything seemed rosy. You fell in love together, you felt connected, and you were excited to spend time together. Everything seemed easy and you agreed on many things. The relationship flowed.
But something has changed – now you argue, disagree, and bicker on a regular basis. Often it’s the same issue over and over again. You disagree on a major issue and arguments end in a stalemate at best… or slamming doors and the silent treatment at worst. Maybe you never thought that you would fight like this with anyone – especially not your partner. But right now you’re battling each other fiercely and it’s ruining your relationship.
No marriage is completely free of conflict. Arguments, disagreements, and other types of conflicts are natural – and they are even healthy. If you expected to have a marriage free from fights, I’m sure you had a rude awakening.
While conflicts in marriage are expected, the good news is that you can have healthy disagreements and make your marriage even stronger. Once you develop the skill of conflict resolution within your marriage, you can preserve and protect your marriage and argue in a healthy way.
Why You Fight… And What Goes Wrong
Sometimes a conflict starts with the possibility of a major change. You state your case and your partner gives you a hostile response – they’re yelling, talking over you, or tuning out completely. And every time the subject comes up again, so do the walls.
The more and more that you reinforce with each other that you’re not willing to hear each other’s side of the story, the stronger the walls get and the harder it is for you to communicate in a clear, loving way.
How to Take the Breakdown and Have a Breakthrough
In the beginning stages of conflict resolution, the process you use is more important than what you say. This is because the key to disagreeing in a healthy way is to develop good listening skills. You have to be able to hear before you can be heard.
Slow down and get curious. Step back and allow your partner to share her concerns, worries, or frustrations. When you give your partner the space to share their feelings in a safe way, without the fear of being ridiculed or blindsighted with cutting remarks, she will be more open and willing to hear you, too.
When you learn the practice of active listening, you will both feel like you’re being heard, understood, and respected by each other. This mutual respect allows both of you to express yourselves and reconnect in a loving way.
Yes, there will likely be some compromise. Remember, you’re on the same team, so there shouldn’t be winners or losers. The conflict resolution should make sure that both parties feel like the compromise is fair – you both gained something and gave up something.
Rebuild Mutual Respect, Starting Today
Healthy relationships are built on clear, loving communication with each other. The sooner that you can start rebuilding your communication, the easier it will be for you find conflict resolution and heal your marriage.
Couples reach out to me to help them with conflict resolution from all over the world. Though I am based in New York City, I conduct my couples therapy sessions via Skype. This way, you can work with me no matter where you are. Skype also allows you to attend sessions from the comfort of your own home. If you haven’t used Skype before, don’t worry – it’s easy to use and it’s free.
Though I’m based in New York, Online Marriage Counseling allows me to work with you from wherever you may be located. I invite you to call me to discuss your specific issues and see how my skills and experience can help. Contact me for a free 15-minute consult to determine if we’re the right fit.
Online Marriage Counseling can help.
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