Ten Guidlines for Resolving Conflict

The wife screamed at her husband:  “Leave!!  Get out of this house!” As he was walked out the door she added, “And I hope you die a slow and painful death!”  He turned around and replied, “So now you want me to stay???”

Every married couple has disagreements. Conflict is a part of any relationship. If you are in a marriage where there is no conflict. One of you has passed away.  The couple I mentioned at the beginning of this post are not however good examples of how to disagree.

Here are ten important guidelines to remember as you resolve conflict.

1. It is perfectly normal to disagree about issues.
2. It is okay to verbalize those disagreements.
3. Attack the issue not the person.
4. Winning the argument is never worth losing the relationship.
5. Weigh your words carefully, once spoken they can never be taken back.
6. After a disagreement, reaffirm your love for one another.
7. If you can’t reach resolution. Agree to disagree.
8. Keep the tone and volume respectable.
9. Listen more than you talk.
10. Don’t go to bed angry.

A good marriage is not the absence of conflict.  It is two people who love each other that learn to work through conflict together.

Diane and I have vowed never to go to sleep angry.  Neither one of us has slept for months.

How do you work through conflict? I always look forward to your comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

    Thanks for this, Ken. I think it was Phyllis Diller who said, “Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight.”

    • Ken Davis

      Wayne, So you remember Phyllis. Do you remember her husbands name?

      • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

        I have no clue. But he probably got punched!

  • Steve Drake

    Diller’s husband was Fang. I always remembered it because of Soopy Sales puppets, White Fang and Black Fang.

  • http://www.facebook.com/funnypatshea Pat Shea Spurgeon

    I heard you were supposed to hold hands while arguing. I always thought it was to remind each other of your love…but as I get older, I am realizing it is to ensure you dont strangle each other…

  • http://wastelandwarrior.wordpress.com/ Heath Capps

    These are all critical at different times but #6 and #10 are so huge in my marriage. Fighting fair is definitely a learned skill. Takes work to achieve and commitment to maintain. So worth it!

  • Stephen

    I like the idea of holding hands while you fight, maybe holding the bible in the other hand would work also, that way not only strangling is out of the question, but also throwing stuff, (surely Nobody would throw a bible), although a good solid whack across the head with one just might bring you to your knees.

  • Henrieta Riesco

    Actually, in any conflict, it’s useful to go beyond the issue and get to the underlying needs and interests. It’s easier to find a win/win solution when I need security and you need privacy vs arguing about why you stayed in that bar instead of walking me home.

  • GimpyRoger

    Cindy and I are hunters and target shooters. You know the better she shoots the less I argue. Actually we do use the target range and the trap course to work out frustration and the hunting blind to bond and get closer to each other. Next year we are getting a 6 person blind so we have more room, but, that is physical space not emotional space. The other thing we do is trust in God and trust that he will bring us through as this disorder of mine, the dementia and associated problems, progresses. next on our list of things to do as a couple is the annual winter pheasant shoot with a harpist to warm the heart while we warm our bodies in the lodge.

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