Problems and Marriage

Problems will arise and two individuals will never see eye to eye on everything, so disagreements over issues are inevitable in every relationship.  However, when it comes to problems and marriage, often it’s not the problem itself—whether it be over finances, children or any other cause—that’s at the core of the conflict, but how a couple resolves it.

For some, being right scores higher than compromise, while others prefer to blame instead of seeking a solution.  Rather than dancing around the problem, which will only elevate into a heated argument and hurt feelings, pulling a couple further apart, learn how to easily resolve it in a positive manner through conflict resolution skills.  That’s if you desire a healthy and happy marriage.

The Compassionate Approach to a Solution
In regard to problems and marriage, the goal is to reach a compromise that the two of you can live with. Not only will you create harmony in your relationship, but peacefully overcoming setbacks strengthens the bond between couples, builds understanding and cultivates intimacy.  The approach requires civil communication, passionate negotiation and a strong commitment from both spouses. And keep in mind “If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

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Communicate with Respect

  • In the heat of the moment take a break. When discussing problems and marriage, don’t tackle an issue when you’re bitter or if emotions boil over. Take the time to simmer down, so the two of you can collect your thoughts and discuss the issue in a calm and rational manner.  Set an appropriate time and quiet place to readdress the problem the next day.
  • Sensibly and specifically frame the problem. First ask yourself two questions:  1) Is this problem worthy of discussion? You want to avoid nitpicking or complaining, and focus only on what’s important.  2) Is this really part of a deeper personal issue or an external problem that’s unfairly entering the marriage such as work related stress?  If so, when problems and marriage are not directly associated, seek additional help or solutions outside the relationship. Otherwise, you’re ready to target the real problem, but stay on point. Try to be clear and concise, while avoiding generalizations or exaggerations such as “you always” or “never”.  And remember, this isn’t an opportunity to dig up a pile of grievances that was already buried in the past.
  • Communicate respectfully with one another.  Civil discourse over problems and marriage is absolutely critical. Numerous studies suggest nothing damages a relationship more than disrespect including harsh criticism, relentless blame and other rude behavior, which only builds barriers, and needless to say doesn’t fix the problem. Instead follow the golden rule–Always speak to your partner in the manner you want to be spoken to, which is with consideration and compassion.  Of course, it’s not all about talking, but also listening and messaging.  Genuinely pay attention to what your spouse is saying.  Reply with empathy to show that you care about his or her point of view on the problems and marriage. And many couples don’t realize just how much their attitude impacts a conversation. Messages aired through facial expressions, body language and even silence often speak louder than words, so be aware of your nonverbal communications. Finally, to ease a difficult discussion, sprinkle it with lighthearted laughter and offer a warm smile.

Passionately Negotiate a Compromise

  • Work together to create practical results.  Consider what’s best for the marriage, not just you, when brainstorming for solutions.  Work together to come up with ideas, even fun and creative ones, to resourcefully solve your dilemma regarding problems and marriage.
  • Agree on a compromise you both can live with. It’s all about having reasonable expectations and cooperation when it comes to give and take.  When you reach an agreement together, you both buy into the solution and share in the responsibility to make it work. Unfortunately, on rare occasion, a couple may not come to a consensus.  In this case it’s best to agree to disagree and move on.  Sometimes problems work themselves out over time.  In any case the effort wasn’t a lost cause, because the conversation allowed the two of you to build a better understanding of each other and develop civil boundaries.

Pledge a Strong Commitment

  • Make the effort a priority and promise. Creating solutions to problems and marriage requires work, and therefore, a strong commitment from the both of you.  With a team spirit, pledge that you will make solving the problem at hand a priority.  It’s not about either of you winning or losing, but championing a solution for the sake of your marriage and love for each other.

Remember that problems and marriage often go together, so the next time you’re confronted with a problem practice this proven strategy to successfully resolve the issue, while at the same time fostering harmony in your relationship.

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