Conflicts are part of every relationship. If any two individual with different makeup and upbringing would associate in a relationship, there must be conflicts. The same applies to marriage relationships.
By the time you move from being friends to living in the same house and waking up every morning to interact with this person, you’ll begin to notice some annoying things that you never saw.
My pastor defined a successful marriage as that one in which conflicts are resolved. It hit me hard when I heard that. It meant that what makes a marriage successful is not that conflicts don’t occur; instead but that they are resolved amicably.
I am not in any way wishing or praying you encounter conflicts in your marriage, I am only sharing thoughts that can help you live at peace with your spouse.
If conflicts are a part of every relationship including marriage, then it is extremely important that we learn how to manage or resolve them if and when they occur. That is the center of this article.
Here are a few tips to help you in resolving conflicts in your marriage:
- Understand that conflicts are not uncommon: this is very key. It is the basis and would provide you with a foundation to build on. Conflicts are not uncommon in relationships. Even siblings who are born of the same parents and raised in a similar environment have misunderstandings. There is hardly any marriage without misunderstandings. I am personally not aware of any.
- Understand that the disagreements are not because he hates you: couples don’t disagree because they enjoy disagreeing, neither is it because he has stopped loving you. A number of times, they occur because of gaps in communicating one’s intentions.
- Communicate effectively: in communicating effectively, ensure that you don’t keep some things in your heart and expect that your partner will know about them. If you are offended about something he did to you, say it but not in a way to start a quarrel. If you are in doubt about something, ask questions. One of the times I quarrelled with my husband, it was after that time that I realised that if I had just communicated what I had in mind to him, the quarrel wouldn’t have happened. He interpreted my silence to mean a different thing from what I had in mind. Effective communication is one thing you must learn to do if you must live peacefully with your spouse.
- Work at living in peace instead of deciding who is right and who is wrong: over time, I have come to realise that in resolving conflicts in the home, one person must have to apologise first. And when the two people involved keep insisting that neither of them is at fault, they won’t make any headway in arriving at peace. What happens most of the time when the situation is critically viewed is that you eventually realise that each person contributed one way or the other to the problem. That is why the focus should shift from what was said or wasn’t said or trying to prove a point to ‘how do we work at peace from where we are now?’ Another reason is that as long as both of you are concerned, each person did what he/she considered right in his/her own eyes.
- Love will crown in all: if you can, make out time and study the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 13, especially from verse 4. One attribute of love is that it is selfless. It thinks of other people first. When true love exists between a couple, beyond the hurts and ill-feelings, they each will be genuinely interested in the welfare of the other and seek ways to ensure that the other’s interest comes first before theirs. That is one way I know that couples can live successfully at peace.
In summary, understand that it is more important to be at unity in marriage than to be right. So, think unity first.