Conflict Resolution for Couples
Choose a Space for Conflict
Choosing a time and place for conflict is really great advice. It might sound strange at first, but knowing when we’ll have those unfavorable conversations allow us to mentally prepare and avoid unnecessary conflict when it’s not time.
Schedule a weekly date with your partner where you go to a public place and discuss what’s been on your mind. The public space will inhibited over the top responses and behaviour, and scheduling this time will help you focus on the conversation and not be distracted by anything else.
Learn to Listen
Once we’re in the middle of conflict, we easily default into defense mode. We’re hardly listening at the words utters by the other person and we’re mostly focused on what we want to say next or how we’ll ‘win’ the argument.
In order to better deal with conflict in your marriage, you can practice to pause during these tricky discussions. Switch off your response system, even just for a moment, and try to really focus on what your significant other is communicating. This includes both verbal and non-verbal cues. Remind yourself that you want to get to a solution, and it’s not about winning an argument.
Enter Discussions with Ideas
This might sound like a tricky step, but going into a discussion with possible solutions or ideas on how to fix the problem could prevent you from becoming frustrated and lashing out. Conflict arises because of the unknown, and taking the time to address the issue on your own (before your approach your partner with it) can really help you see the issue clearly and allow yourself to determine your expectations.
If necessary, role play a conflict situation while you are by yourself to explore the variety of ways in which the discussion might go.