If you’re reading this then chances are the “honeymoon” stage is over and reality has set in. Now this shouldn’t be misconstrued as a negative, as most relationships will go through periods of conflicts and strife, and simply being married does not make you immune to these occurrences.
There are tons of reasons that you and your spouse could be at each other’s throats lately, from dealing with financial struggles and infidelity, to even simplistic arguments like helping out with chores, there are always going to be things you don’t see eye to eye on. This doesn’t make you any less of a married couple, in fact it makes you – human.
Dealing with Conflict in the Home
Though the two of you are joined together as one, you are still two individuals with different needs, wants, and personalities. As such, there will come times when you’re simply not getting along. Maybe the marriage is stale, or maybe there are bigger issues like deciding to let an in-law move in. Whatever the case is, conflict is natural. It can however, begin to affect other members of the family If you don’t handle your disagreements accordingly, it could lead to torn relationships with your children. Ongoing conflicts and disagreements can easily affect the entire family.
Knowing how to best handle conflict with your spouse and recognizing when you need the assistance of a professional therapist can make all the difference in the world. Since many conflicts can be handled on your own, first let’s discuss various ways that you and your spouse can get through your issues:
1. Stop Yelling and Talk – having a screaming match to see who can get in the last word is never going to resolve a problem. Therefore, the first thing you will need to do is take a few deep breaths, stop yelling, and have a mature adult conversation with each other. When having a conversation with one another it is important for each party to voice their opinions without judgement, finger pointing, or other interruptions. Part of effective communication means both speaking and listening.
2. Take a Break – Sometimes you can’t calm down enough to have a mature conversation. Your emotions are all over the place and you just want your partner to know exactly how you feel. Rather than say things that you don’t mean out of anger, hurt, or spite, it is best that you simply talk with your partner later on once you’ve calmed down and had time to think. You’ll be surprised how often taking a few minutes can make you forget what you were mad about in the first place.
3. Talk in private – one of the biggest mistakes that adults make is having their discussion out in the open for children and other members of the family to hear. In order to keep the tension in the rest of the home to a minimum, it is best to have your conversations in private. If you don’t have enough privacy in the home, ask someone to watch the children so that you can go somewhere more secluded and talk.
4. Address What can Be Changed – A good rule of thumb is to focus on the things you can change and try not to stress over the things that you can’t. If your issue happens to be finances, you can’t change the fact that your spouse can’t find a job (if they’re trying daily), but you can change your budget and cut back on certain things so that you can live comfortably until you find more income.
5. Let it Go – After you’ve addressed the issues and come up with a feasible way to handle the matter you need to let it go. Holding on to bitterness, resentment, or anger can really do damage to your marriage in the long run. The best thing you can do is let go and continue living your life.
Signs You May Need Help
While most conflicts within a relationship can be resolved with the above described tips, there are instances in which both parties are not able to see eye to eye or come to some form of compromise. This is generally for more serious matters that may require a huge sacrifice on one side or the other. In these instances it is best to reach out to a professional marriage counselor for assistance. If you’ve never been to a counselor, you can use an online therapist finder to help you in locating a certified professional to meet your needs.
Below are a few warning signs that help is necessary:
• You still harbor ill feelings towards your spouse
• Your solution only lasts a little time and your back to conflict
• Your constant arguing has caused emotional distress for your children
• You’re considering the possibility of divorce or separation
• Your conflicts have you dealing with an overwhelming amount of stress which is beginning to affect your health.
• You believe your spouse has begun verbally abusing you
It would be wonderful if all marriages would always remain in that blissful place they were when you first said your vows, however, this is not always the case. As two personalities and lifestyles learn to mesh and come into agreeance with one another, it can be very challenging along the way. Once you’ve learned how to deal with conflict in your marriage, dealing with roadblocks along the way will not be as challenging. If you recognize that you and your spouse need help sorting through your problems, don’t put it off, simply reach out to a professional therapist for further assistance and guidance.