5 CONFLICT RESOLUTION TIPS FOR COUPLES
Quite often, couples from all walks of life experience problems that can be solved using certain techniques. However, if couples aren’t sure where to begin the process, the miscommunication can lead to a breakup or divorce. , it’s estimated that first marriages have a 41% chance of ending in divorce. With these statistics in mind, finding common ground and developing healthy conflict management skills is more important than ever. God clearly lays out the steps to take to deal with someone who has sinned against you. Or you may feel that has wronged you.
There are Biblical action steps can be difficult to discern when in the midst of a conflict. So its important to examine what the bible says Before the conflict happens, so we as a couple can lets put a plan in place.
Everything we discuss from here on out will be counter-cultural.
- Where the world says to fight back, God says to humble ourselves.
- Where the world screams for justice, God teaches forgiveness.
- Where the world points fingers, God says to examine ourselves before judging our brother.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
God’s Word tells us that He expects several things from us in regards to conflict resolution: humility, forgiveness, love, and action.
You aren’t always right: HUMILITY
God commands us many times in the Bible to humble ourselves. Matthew 18:4 says, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And in Matthew 23: 12 it says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Humility is a fruit of the Spirit, and one that can be so difficult to submit to. It’s opposite – pride
What could I have done better? SELF-REFLECTION
Part of humbling ourselves involves self-reflection.
Luke 6:42 “HOW CAN YOU SAY TO YOUR BROTHER, ‘BROTHER, LET ME TAKE OUT THE SPECK THAT IS IN YOUR EYE,’ WHEN YOU YOURSELF DO NOT SEE THE LOG THAT IS IN YOUR OWN EYE? YOU HYPOCRITE, FIRST TAKE THE LOG OUT OF YOUR OWN EYE, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO TAKE OUT THE SPECK THAT IS IN YOUR BROTHER’S EYE.”
FORGIVENESS: “THEN PETER CAME UP AND SAID TO HIM, ‘LORD, HOW OFTEN WILL MY BROTHER SIN AGAINST ME, AND I FORGIVE HIM? AS MANY AS SEVEN TIMES?’ JESUS SAID TO HIM, ‘I DO NOT SAY TO YOU SEVEN TIMES, BUT SEVENTY SEVEN TIMES.’” MATTHEW 18:21-22
Forgiveness is one of those things that can be hard to grasp. So often we equate forgiveness with a feeling or emotion. However, forgiveness is actually an act of the will through the power of the Spirit. It is a choice.
Sometimes it isn’t even a reaction to someone asking to be forgiven, because there will be people who never ask. And, so it becomes an intentional action on our part because it is required of us.
Put A Plan In Place
- Directly Express Your Problems
Couples who are having issues may resort to a behavior that avoids the problem itself. For example, a partner who acts depressed or sad may use that as an expression, instead of directly stating their concern. The same thing applies to a partner who retaliates with anger or annoyance; their response side-steps the problem at hand, creating more confusion for both parties. In order to find a resolution, couples must directly express what’s bothering them in a firm and honest matter. Once the issue is out in the open, a real plan of action can be put into place.
- Don’t Blame Your Partner
Putting the blame on someone for a problem that both people are experiencing never leads to a viable solution. Instead, the one taking the blame will feel attacked, forcing them to respond to the blame, rather than the problem at hand. A scenario that explains this pitfall is when a partner says, “You’re crazy for thinking that!” Immediately, the blame is shifted away from the issue, which could be the fear of being cheated on, and now the other partner will go on the defensive: “I’m crazy? You’re the one who’s crazy!” Note that the original problem has now become secondary to the blame. To avoid this pattern, it’s better to respond with “I feel” statements that keep the main point at the center of the discussion. By saying, “I feel that you’re being crazy to think that I would cheat on you,” removes the blame from the partner, while keeping the heart of the argument intact. This approach will lead to a better communication that honors the feelings of each partner without putting them down.
- Stick to One Argument at a Time
In addition to removing blame, it’s important to maintain one argument at a time. Unfortunately, when couples fight, it’s easy to start lumping together multiple issues into one massive blowout. When this happens, the ability to solve one problem gets lost in the shuffle of trying to solve many problems, which in turn causes an argument to go nowhere. Couples who can stick to one argument have a much better chance of finding one solution. This approach allows for an attitude of patience and understanding, giving each partner the time to process their feelings and come up with the right answers together before moving onto to something else.
- Communication is Key
It may sound like a broken record, but healthy communication between partners is the bedrock of any successful relationship. Within this idea lies an umbrella of listening and response skills that provide guidance for couples when arguments start to ensue or differences begin to surface. For example, one must really pay attention to the issues or feelings that their partner is sharing. This form of listening can be followed up with questions or personal identifiers to make sure that one is understanding what is being said. If a partner is laid back in their reciprocity or preoccupied with other matters, the overall communication will never develop into something beneficial. Using a form of active listening and perception checks will eliminate misunderstandings and provide a strong foundation for alleviating future conflicts.
- Be Open Minded
Finally, couples who can remain open minded throughout their issues are more likely to find peaceful resolutions that serve the interests of both parties. Getting caught up on one side of the argument doesn’t allow for any flexibility with understanding the other’s concerns, so as a conflict grows, the odds of meeting in the middle are highly diminished. To combat this dysfunction, partners must learn to rationalize an argument from an objective standpoint. They must remove their ego and consider both sides of the coin without bias or personal gain. Operating within this mode will allow for a reasonable discussion, as well as having the openness to accept the other partner’s standpoint. When couples can be open-minded and objective, they are well-suited to handle a variety of issues.