How to Resolve Conflict in Marriage

christian eyebrow     March 03, 2024    

Marital conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but it doesn't have to ruin your marriage. In fact, if handled well, conflict can be an opportunity to grow closer and strengthen your bond. Here are some tips on how to resolve marital conflict in a healthy and respectful way.

Identify the root cause of the conflict

Sometimes, what you argue about is not the real issue, but a symptom of a deeper problem. For example, you may fight over money, but the underlying issue is trust or security. Try to understand what each of you needs and wants from the relationship, and how the conflict affects those needs.

Listen actively and empathetically

When you are in a conflict, it's easy to get defensive and focus on your own point of view. But that can make your partner feel unheard and invalidated. Instead, try to listen with an open mind and heart, and show that you care about their feelings and perspective. Repeat back what they said in your own words, and ask questions to clarify their meaning.

Use "I" statements and avoid blaming 

When you express your feelings and needs, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. For example, say "I feel hurt when you don't call me" instead of "You never call me". This way, you avoid accusing or criticizing your partner, which can escalate the conflict. Focus on how the situation makes you feel, rather than what your partner did or didn't do.

Seek to understand before being understood

Before you try to explain your side of the story, make sure you understand your partner's side first. Ask them what they want or need from you, and what they think would help resolve the conflict. Don't interrupt or argue while they are speaking, but listen attentively and respectfully. Once they feel heard and understood, they will be more willing to listen to you.

Look for common ground and compromise

Instead of trying to win the argument or prove that you are right, look for ways to meet each other halfway and find a solution that works for both of you. Try to find something that you agree on, or a shared goal that you both want to achieve. Then, brainstorm ideas on how to reach that goal, and evaluate the pros and cons of each option.

Apologize and forgive

If you have hurt your partner or made a mistake, be honest and apologize sincerely. Don't make excuses or justify your actions, but take responsibility and acknowledge the impact of your behavior. Similarly, if your partner has apologized to you, accept their apology and forgive them. Don't hold grudges or bring up past issues, but let go of resentment and move on.

Seek professional help if needed

Sometimes, marital conflict can be too complex or overwhelming to handle on your own. If you feel stuck or unable to communicate effectively with your partner, you may benefit from seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist. They can help you identify the root causes of your conflict, teach you skills to manage it better, and facilitate constructive dialogue between you and your partner.

Remember, conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, but how you choose to address and resolve them can strengthen your bond as a couple. By approaching conflicts with patience, understanding, and a willingness to compromise, you can overcome challenges and build a stronger, more resilient marriage.


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