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5 Steps for Resolving Conflict Within Your Marriage

by Mary Aderibigbe
May 2014 Mary  Aderibigbe
Couples can resolve their grievances themselves through discussion. No marriage relationship is devoid of conflict, but if these challenges are properly managed, the marriage is strengthened. Couples should therefore show commitment to their relationships by working together to resolve problems.

Discuss issues early before they get entrenched, before resentment and emotions build up. Select a good time to talk about the problem. Open up to each other. Make eye contact, touch or hold hands.

Explain the problem
Speak your mind what you think or feel. Use positive communication. Express strong feelings appropriately. Avoid hurtful statements. Don’t attack your partner by using ‘you’ statements you caused it….. You are the one that…. Use “I” statements instead for effective communication.

Don’t speak at the same time
Take turns to talk and listen. Listen well to understand your partner’s perspective. Go beyond what he/she is saying verbally to understand what he/she is communicating emotionally. Ask questions to clarify what he/she is saying. Ask non-defensive questions to elicit non-defensive responses.

Muster positive disposition
Respond calmly to deal with the intruder, the problem, your spouse is not the problem. State your opinion, express your feelings, concerns and needs calmly. Calm tone of voice and positive body language.

Make the problem small

Work together at getting to the root of the problem. Search for solution together. Consider each other’s view. Find a way to resolve it and arrive at a compromise. Come up with solutions. Select a solution that you are both happy with and can carry out. Be determined to make amends. Resolve to prevent a recurrence...

Shame the devil!
Make up. Show remorse and apologize where necessary. Forgive who is above mistake anyway! Re-affirm your love for each other and re-connect. Make his/her happiness your project.

Biography


Mary Aderibigbe is a lawyer and mediator handling family law issues. She applies dispute resolution processes and systems in her interventions to families, couples and individuals. She offers specialized services to enhance the skills in effective conflict management through the initiative, Family Support - GTN.



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