Can You Resolve Marital conflits without going for divorce?
If you are in a relationship, you know conflict is inevitable. It is inevitable.
But how do you actually go about resolving marital conflict?
Do you get angry, shout, shut-down and withdraw? Or do you attack and defend yourself?
John gives some really good tips on how to safely resolve problems in marriage.
Whatever you feel like doing DO NOT do any of the following. These kill relationships like a plague.
*Do not mock, jeer, insult or put your partner down. These are signs of contempt. Contempt according to author John Gottman is acting, behaving and speaking down to your spouse.
*Do not shut down and give them the silent treatment. This is also called Stone walling. Shutting out the other person also makes them feel that you are treating them like they do not exist. They feel not only ignored but belittled. It only worsen the situation.
*Do not abuse your spouse verbally and physically. It will not be taken lightly and you will live to regret it.
Can you actually turn conflict into caresses?
John feels that you can do so.
He gives 6 ways to turn conflict into caresses
1. Accept that conflict is natural. All relationships do and will have conflict – even the happen and successful ones. The different between the masters and disasters of marriage is the way they deal with conflict.
2. John mentions in rule 2 that conflict causes crappy conduct. Except the nice alliteration of words (conflict causes crappy conduct) I do not understand how this can be a solution.
3. I like this one. John asks that we don’t take it personally. I guess a good way to think about this is to look at children. They will fight one minute and be playing the next. After the conflict find some way to let go of it. Take a walk, shower, do some form of exercise anything that will calm you down and de-stress your body. Then make up and move on. I remember a friend of mine who told me that he and his wife usually have a major breakdown about once a month. They become like 2 warring countries but after the fight they are good to go again. This lead to the next rule:
4. Forgive. Let go. Move on. Release the person and do not punish them with the cold, silent or sour mode treatment.
5. Reconnect as quickly as possible. Reconnection can be emotional or physical. Find something to laugh about, play fully touch, hug or frolic together, caress and eventually have make up sex. These will create a bridge and move you forward quickly.
6. Communicate to resolve the problem. However, be solution focussed. Ask each other what can be done. John gives a very good suggestions. Ask: “What is important to you in this issue? What do you need, what you want?” If it is important also say what is important to you. Try and come to a solution that you are both happy about.
7. If you cannot come to an application solution let it go for a few days and return with fresh mind to the problem.
8. If the situation is too sensitive to discuss without getting into an argument then you should consider getting someone you mutually respect to help you both beyond the impasse.