The outcome of conflict depends on how you handle the issues. Destructive conflict depicted by negative or unhealthy reactions, shouting, accusing, not listening leads to more conflict and should be avoided.
Discuss your differences early before they get entrenched, before resentment and negative emotions build up. Select a good time to talk about the problem. Open up to each other. Make eye contact, tenderly touch or hold hands.
Talk About It
Communicate using “I” – statements. Express strong feelings in a healthy way. Avoid hurtful statements. Don’t attack your partner by using ‘you’ – statements ‘you caused it… you are the one that….’ Use “I” – statements to express your feelings for effective communication.
Listen well to understand your partner’s perspective. Take turns to speak. Focus on the problem not on the other person. 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.
Stay calm. Respond calmly to deal with the problem and avoid attacking your spouse. State your opinion, express your feelings, concerns and needs calmly using a calm tone of voice and positive body language.
Find Solutions Together
Work together at getting to the root of the problem. Search for a solution together. Consider each other’s view. Come up with a solution that you are both happy with, found workable and acceptable. Show remorse and apologize where necessary. Learn to forgive.
Prevent A Recurrence
Resolve to prevent a recurrence. Appreciate your spouse for the little things he/she does for the family. Choose happiness in your marriage.