Conflict management Strategies for Married Couples
As many married couples already know, it only takes a few seconds for a small disagreement to develop into a full blown fight. This is why the most effective conflict management strategies for married couples focus on stopping conflict before it begins. This means anticipating conflict or seeing it coming so that you can avoid adding fuel to the fire.
One of the best ways to stop a conflict in its tracks is to take a time out. This strategy is especially useful when you are discussing a sensitive topic. However, the decision to take a time out has to be mutual.
How do you ensure that the decision is mutual? Have a discussion before hand and agree to take a time-out whenever things start to heat up.
You and your spouse are both unique individuals so you are not going to agree on everything. However, just because you do not agree on everything doesn’t mean that there is anything fundamentally wrong with your marriage.
Managing your expectations is one of the most powerful conflict management strategies. This is because being realistic in your expectations and not expecting you and your partner to agree on everything helps you to see and accept conflicts for what they really are – differences of opinion.
Stay in the Present
Nothing fuels a conflict like bringing out a laundry list of all the mistakes your spouse has made from the day you met him or her. Deal with the current problem without referring to past conflicts that you already resolved or making generalized statements such as “you always do this.” Although It’s very tempting to bring up the past, you have to resist the urge. Remember, it’s more important to be in a happy marriage than to win arguments against your spouse.
Turn the Conflict into a Win-Win Situation
The main reason why people argue is because they are trying to “win” or prove to their partners that they are “right.” However, it is possible to come up with solutions that do not only solve your marital problems but also make both of you feel like winners. This win-win approach shows your spouse that you care about them and their wishes.
Patience is one of the best conflict management strategies for couples. Being patient in your thoughts and actions makes you slow to anger and conflict. As the Bible says in Proverbs 15:18, an angry man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger calms it.