We’ve all been there. We all have differing views about how we spend our time, our money, raising children, habits, food… everything under the sun. Sometimes, these differences will lead to conflicts.
Marriage conflicts are a matter of life. Unfortunately, they are bound to happen, and it’s something we must learn how to manage to prevent the next one from happening. This is especially important, because if not addressed properly, your next conflict could bring you closer to the road of separation.
However, some may be tempted to say that they were just unlucky and married the wrong person, but I’d like to propose that most marriages are made up of very opposite personalities. It does require work and patience, and more importantly, the willingness to learn the skill of resolving conflicts.
In most arguments, one person may feel misunderstood. One might feel belittled. He or she might lose patience, which will then lead to 2 approaches used by either partner.
First, a spouse would walk away in silence without saying anything further.
Or alternatively, a spouse would lash out with brutal honesty without considering the other spouse’s feelings.
Regrettably, both ways are not very helpful in solving the conflict. They will then get stuck in a series of fights that lead to bigger problems in the family.
So, how then do we mitigate these conflicts? Here is where we would like to introduce you to Super S-U-E!
Step 1 – STOP
Whatever you are feeling or thinking, stop at once. Take three deep breaths and cease thinking about how you’ve been wronged. Try not to react to the situation.
Step 2 – UNDERSTAND
Try to understand what you are feeling and why. Then, try to understand your spouse’s intentions. Put yourself in his or her shoes.
Step 3 – END RESULT
Think about the result that you want from this conversation.
What is the outcome that you want?
Good! Let’s work from there.
Formula for Generating Positive Responses
So you are clear of what you want to achieve from your conversation. But how do you communicate it in a way that does not generate defensive responses?
In the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott share a formula to help couples state their feelings in a way that will generate positive responses.
All you need to do is to fill in the blanks in the XYZ formula with your gripe in mind.
|Using Formula XYZ
“In situation X, when you do Y, I feel Z.”
“Last night (X), when you didn’t call me to inform me you were working late (Y), I felt upset and unloved because I wasn’t on your mind (Z).”
“You never call to inform me when you are working late.”
“When I come home tired from work (X), and you want me to help you with the chores (Y), I feel frustrated because I just need some rest (Z).”
“Why do you always want me to do something when I’m just resting?”
Using the XYZ formula simply helps you state how your partner’s behavior affects your feelings. It is a far more constructive method than just stating whatever that first comes to your mind.
It will take time
With this, I hope that you will have a fruitful discussion and come to an agreed solution for the issue. In time, the understanding between the both of you will deepen and there will be lesser conflicts and sweeter days ahead. Just be patient!
“The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds, they mature slowly.” Peter De Vries
As a Parent Educator and Coach, she finds fulfilment in equipping families with tools and solutions to enjoy their family journey.
When given any opportunity, she hopes to share with married couples and families that you don’t have to be a super being to be a hero. All it requires is love, commitment and a workable plan.