Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

How Happy Couples Deal With Conflict

 

How many times have you heard a couple say they need to work on resolving conflict? Well, it may surprise you to know that conflict resolution is not the solution to happy marriages.

My parents were married 67 years when my mom died. They grappled with the same conflict issues for most of those years. According to researcher John Gottman, this is normal in stable couples.  Gottman found that 69% of couple conflict is perpetual. This means that while having conflict is normal, the bulk of it remains unresolved.

However, well functioning relationships develop a specific kind of dialogue around these problems. Even though conflict is on-going, successful couples discuss conflict without escalating to negative patterns like blame, defensiveness, cut off, etc. They use humor, affection and some irritability, but the conversation does not escalate to a negative place.

Thus, the secret to dealing with conflict is not to avoid or necessarily resolve it. The secret is to keep from escalating that conflict to a negative place. Successful couples choose relationships with a set of perpetual problems that they learn to live with them, being respectful and positive as the dialogue over those problems unfolds. Staying positive is the key.

So the next time you find yourself in a conflict with your partner, examine your dialogue around that conflict. Are you critical, feeling contempt, being defensive or even putting up a wall? If so, the relationship is going the wrong direction. But if you keep your affection, use humor and stay positive, the relationship is going to do well.

 

If you like this blog, you may like:

Could Kardashian Marital Trouble Been Predicted?

Previous Posts

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy
He sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken.  She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, "I don't love you and want out," hit hard.  He never saw it comi

posted 6:00:05am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Take the Quiz: Do You Love Money Too Much?
Money, money, money...The OJays sang about it, reminding us us what people will do for the love of money-steal from their mother, rob from their brother, lie, cheat and don't care who they hurt or beat, etc. In Matthew, Jesus tells us that you can't love money and God. He chided the religious le

posted 6:00:17am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A School Success Measure More Important Than Intelligence
These days, parents seemed consumed with their children getting high test scores. The belief is that high test scores predicts academic success. But a new study suggests that parents should put their efforts elsewhere--in developing the personalities of their children. With more concern about wh

posted 6:00:29am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

One Way to Facilitate the Feeling of Love
Rosie is a little anxious about her first date with Sean. We all know how important first impressions are when it comes to finding love. After a few outings at a local coffee shop, her feelings of attraction were obvious. The setting was intimate, soft  music played in the background and th

posted 6:00:15am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Want to Stay Young? Engage in the Arts!
Music, dance, drawing, reading, listening to poetry--all ways we can engage the arts. But is there a connection between staying young and engaging these activities? Yes, engaging in the arts helps you stay young. 1) Take up dancing. Dancing is not only aerobic but it challenges the brain. So t

posted 6:00:45am Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.