When did marriage conflict start? When did husbands and wives start pointing fingers and blaming each other?
When Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Who did she blame? The Serpent. Who did Adam blame? Eve.
What causes marital conflict? A root cause of marital conflict is our selfishness. And it’s frustrating because it seems like a constant struggle that will always be there no matter how hard we try. Why? Because we are battling against our nature.
So, don’t be surprised when conflict arises. It’s going to happen. So the goal is to accept the fact that conflict will occur, and learn how to manage it.
Believe it or not, conflict can be beneficial. Conflict can bring you and your spouse into a deeper and more intimate marriage relationship. No pain, no gain applies to marriage as well.
Here are three tools you can use to help you avoid conflict:
1. Expectation Identification. Think about one thing that causes you to experience disappointment or anger in your marriage. Usually, it can be traced back to your spouse failing to fulfill your expectations. How do we manage unfulfilled expectations?
2. Good Timing. Soon after my wife and I were married, we made a discovery. It seemed like most of our arguments were at night, when we were tired and irritable from a long day. So here’s what we did about it.
3. Do Over. We’ve all seen it before. We say something to our spouse and, in an instant; we can see their face starting to turn red with rage and their hair standing up on the back of their neck. So try the 5 Do-over Rules
When conflict cannot be avoided, it needs to be addressed. Addressing conflict can be one of the biggest challenges in marriage. When attempts at addressing conflict are unproductive or harsh, it can lead to resentment, discouragement and even bigger problems than you faced originally.
So how can you address conflict successfully in your marriage? One way is to practice the R.E.S.T. method.