Resolving Marriage Conflicts
When negative emotional residue or the same issues keep coming up after you and your spouse have supposedly worked through a fight, that is when you start rethinking whether your marriage conflicts were properly resolved or not. When a conflict is addressed and settled by you and your spouse, there should not be any leftover anger or frustration, or cases of the issue resurfacing again. Being married for almost sixteen years, we are always constantly working hard to find ways to improve our marriage. With four children and a blended family, we find that working to maintain a healthy marriage takes a lot of effort and can be extremely tough on an already stressful schedule. You can read about our “Not So Average Love Story” here.
6 Positive Strategies for Resolving Marriage Conflicts
This is one of the greater challenges of individuals in a relationship — when issues that form the underlying core of an argument are not addressed properly. If you find yourself in a similar situation, fret not! We have come up with 6 helpful and positive strategies to ensure that your marriage conflicts are ended in a harmonious manner.
Compile your own “hurt list”
Coming up with a list of instances when memories or mental throwbacks incite negative emotions will help you leave them in the past. Focus on such instances that make you feel negatively charged again, regardless of how hard you have tried to forgive and forget.
If you find yourself frequently experiencing these negative residual emotions, or they are continuously growing in intensity, the likelihood of it getting into the way of resolving the conflict is pretty high.
When negative emotions resurface every time a new fight emerges, or even at random times as you go about your daily life, this is an indication of the failure to properly attend to and address these feelings. Look out for negative emotions of hurt embedded in a host of other emotions, such as feeling betrayed, disregarded, useless, victimized, rejected, unloved and many more.
Associating each event to a specific emotion keeps your mind in check, and do note that while thoughts constantly require justification or explanation, feelings do not. Feelings and emotions are all valid, and regardless of what your husband or wife has done or not done, these feelings manifest the fundamental negative repercussions of an action or lack thereof, and should hence not be brushed off and instead, jotted down.
Take turns to sit down with your spouse and engage in a round-robin. Each of you should take turns to name one emotion or one instance that incited hurt (or whatever that emotion is), and elaborate on it. Include the action done, how it made you feel and why that is so.
Each time, focus only on one emotion before letting your husband or wife speak, and then it is back to you again. The act of verbalizing your feelings will not only empower you, but it will also help both of you understand each other better. It also allows both parties to realize how a small action that did not seem much at that time could potentially cause an extreme amount of hurt to their loved one.
After your husband has shared his thoughts, give yourself some time to fully immerse yourself in the situation, and try to understand how it would have affected him or her. Do take note that this is not a time for you to make excuses and judge how sensitive he is, because regardless of your intentions, you hurt your spouse.
Step into the shoes of your significant other and force yourself to see it from his perspective. Be a sympathetic listener and be remorseful for your actions.
Acknowledge their feelings
After gaining a better understanding of the circumstances, it is time to validate and acknowledge their feelings. Though your spouse has shared his or her side with you, many a time they may feel as if they were overreacting or being too sensitive. You should never allow your spouse to feel that way, as all feelings are extremely valid.
Recognize how your actions have impacted them and be genuinely apologetic. Again, no matter how indignant you are, do not attempt to justify your actions as this will be counter-productive. Lower your pride and thoroughly validate their emotions.
The most important thing about this six-step guide is to be genuinely sorry for what you have done and provide them with a heartfelt apology. The goal is to show them that you are truly remorseful, and have listened to what they had to say. If you cannot give a personal apology, then its okay to write a Heartfelt Love Letter To Your Husband.
According to the circumstances, offer a solution that you can provide to make them feel better or to make up for their mistake. If it is a trust issue, it could include you being fully transparent with them and possibly giving them unrestricted access to your messages and calls. If it is about unfairness, you could offer to do the household chores for a week. The bottom line is to take steps to rectify the situation, by displaying your genuine repentance
This step requires you to ask if your husband or wife is satisfied with your apology and how this whole situation played out. If you are sincere enough in what you say, chances are that your partner will be able to fully come to terms with it and let bygones be bygones.
When you show her that you have truly appreciated her sincerity and take her feelings seriously, she will be able to let it go. They should also feel safe to be vulnerable with you again, and for trusting that you will not turn hostile in future scenarios. By truly being aware of your partner’s culpability of emotional suffering, you will be able to subconsciously take action to prevent it from happening again.
Be vulnerable and honest
By following these steps and sticking to whatever we have mentioned, you and your spouse will be able to fully embrace your vulnerability and appreciate mutual honesty. This will effectively help both of you connect on a deeper level, and prevent future situations from occurring again.
However, if these steps do not successfully resolve any negative emotional build-up, chances are that the trauma that you or your spouse feels is possibly linked to a bad childhood or unpleasant childhood memory. In these cases, talking to a professional may help.
Regardless of the situation, love and empathy are the most important values to bring you and your marriage back together again, while improving on your relationship as a unit. And if you find it hard to start a difficult conversation with your husband or wife, a tip would be to search for some topics for couples to lighten the atmosphere and make your spouse feel comfortable before diving into the issues at hand.
Do you have any strategies you can share that may help someone resolve their marriage conflicts?
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