You are thinking about what just happened? You and your partner just had a misunderstanding. You both have stopped arguing but the battle is still raging within you. It’s been hours now and your hormones seem to have been altered.
Your expectation after marriage was that you and your double delight will see eye to eye on every issue. You felt your disagreements while dating was because you two were not staying together and so now you have finally tied the knot, everything good will come and it will be all sweet with no lemons.
No hun, the process of becoming one with your partner isn’t an easy one as rough edges will always be part of the mix. This is so because you two are different in almost every possible way.
You must have heard it said a couple of times that “familiarity breeds contempt” and I’d say this is much more evident in family circles than anywhere else. The more you stay together, being the closest being to him or her, you will get to see and experience a part of your mate that no one else knows about.
I’ve also heard people say and believe one of the most common relationship myths you should stop believing, “we should never differ on anything if we are truly in love”. Is it possible for two people from different backgrounds and upbringing to live together without disagreements?
Definitely not. Marital conflicts abound even in the best of marriages. This, therefore, means that happiness in marriage isn’t the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.
There is nothing wrong with conflicts. They can serve the constructive purpose of improving communication and help you discover more ways on how to strengthen your marriage every day.
There are a lot of issues that could spark up disagreements which are popularly known as “conflict triggers” in marriage. Let’s look at a few together:
- Do you feel like you have entered the wrong kind of carriage in terms of “marriage”?
- Did you get hooked because you were lonely and frustrated?
- Do you see the number “6” while your mate sees the number “9” always?
- Did you get into this “ship” to fill your emotional emptiness?
- Are you fixated on your spouse’s faults and weaknesses?
- Are there recurrent issues that keep coming up and end up without being resolved?
If any of the above-mentioned items are part of your worries then I’d advise you watch it and work on understanding your mate. I believe in taking preventive measures. Since you know what often triggers your disagreements, then you are halfway prepared on how to handle it even before it occurs.
Just to help you cool off a little. Do you remember how you couldn’t wait to be with your mate? The gathering of family and friends before whom you swore to “have and to hold”? I believe your emotions are beginning to settle down now. Your partner is beautiful inside out and this is just a misunderstanding that will pass.
So, don’t get yourself all worked up over a few minutes of difference between you. With the above-mentioned items in mind, how about looking at how to handle disagreements between you two when next they come up? I bet they will come up very soon.
1. Watch Your Reaction Pattern
It is human to be angry but to persist in anger isn’t good. Negative emotions spring up when we are upset or unhappy with our mate. We take turns in blaming our partners and make them feel guilty for their actions forgetting that they are doing the best they can and are only just caught up in this present and can’t hold in some steam anymore.
Remember you are liable to fall in the same manner if found in the same circumstances so try to deal with some level of compassion. This is the first step in reducing conflicts. When you have this in mind, it will help you put a lid on your reaction.
Come on the writer, you sound like it’s going to be easy to do. I agree, dear, it is much easier said than done but if you can keep the above lines in mind, it will help you react positively. What’s your startup tone like when your blood is raging hot?
Do you have a tool kit filled with some “I know how to handle you” tips? Tips which include harsh response tone, yelling and shouting, seeing the “good gone bad” or “no good done at all” kind of talk, blame trading, criticism conveying disgust or do you even use the withdrawal and avoidance method?
Most issues degenerate because of wrong interaction patterns. You really do need to check your startups. Trash your old toolbox and replace it instead with a few quick deep breaths, you could take a walk if you feel you can’t stand the atmosphere or simply say nothing.
Also, learn to respect the deep emotion of crying especially when it’s a lady. It’s sometimes a woman’s way of showing how deeply hurt she is and it expresses her helplessness.
The bottom line is to watch how you react and endeavor to react positively.
2. Run To Your Mate
By this I mean dialogue. I understand that your state of mind could be to pout, remain sullen or even give the silent treatment. But don’t give in to the items from your old toolbox again. Instead, run to your partner instead of away. Discuss the problem with your mate.
When handling a marital conflict, couples should first have an open conversation about the issue and understand one another’s point of view before trying to solve it. It is important that what the issue is, is known. Be willing to listen and the other should speak.
Speak for yourself, don’t just go on and on but stop and listen to what your partner has to say too. Be tactful and refuse to use derogatory remarks. It’s your mate we are talking about here and not some ex who left you(it is even wrong to speak ill of them).
Very often, couples have different issues they are addressing with one issue leading to another thereby making resolutions more herculean. In addressing the problem, couples should state their grievances using the “I ” statements.
Don’t sweep issues under the carpet or quit dealing with an issue when it is not resolved. Choose an appropriate timing, not when your partner is not in a good frame of mind.
” I showed him the stuff I am made of,” said Tiara to her friend Ami, while she was relating an issue that transpired between her and her husband. “I know him very well so I didn’t even allow him to utter a word. I gave it to him in dozens, I would say I spoke over one thousand words per minute”.
Ami: “Really? Tell me, Tiara, what’s this all about? Have you forgotten you are a team? Why seek to win an argument with your husband”.
That was just a little part of a dialogue I extracted above. What am I trying to say? Never seek to win an argument with your mate. It’s about sorting out your differences remember? It’s not about winning. You can consider winning when it’s your family against the world not when it’s between you and your partner.
Some couples have won arguments and have also ended up losing their spouses in the process too. Bear in mind you are companions, not competitors.
3. Stick To The Problem And The Present
Address the problem and not the person. The issue must be looked at and handled rather than the character of the offending or the offended party.
Try to stay within the particular problem, don’t bring up issues that have been long resolved into the new one lest it will frustrate the reconciliation process, creating despair that will prevent the hatchet from being buried.
4. Compromising A Little Will Help Too
After the dialogue, you may have gotten a few hints as to why your partner behaved the way they did or even have a clearer understanding of some needs your partner has. It may not be what you bargained for but in the spirit of love and sacrifice, you may need to meet in the middle.
You may need to give up some rights for peace to reign. You may need to let go of something and just shift grounds a little. Remember in love, there is no holding back!
5. Be Willing To Let Go
In marital conflicts, the courage for partners to air their views should guarantee the right to be forgiven. The only way to reach a conflict resolution satisfactorily is for one of the parties to break the retaliation cycle by forgiving the other.
Forgiveness can be given either by the offending party or the offended party. Once either or both partners keep claiming right, the hate will keep getting stronger.
Couples should not mortgage their relationship on the altar of personal interest and pride. Commitment should be towards preserving your bond and looking out for tips for a happy marriage.
To let you a little into my world, I feel this is a subject dating couples should sit and agree on before they go ahead to tie the knot. Agree on boundaries, it will go a long way.
My man and I agreed on how far we are permitted to go when a disagreement occurs. We agreed on no name-calling or shaming, no third party and some kind of keywords we can use to tell each other we are heating up and will rather discuss some sensitive issues later.
It has taken some kind of pressure off our marriage as we have learned to a very great extent to manage each other as said by relationship expert Dr. Phil, that relationships are meant to be managed and not cured.
Are you expecting that someday you will stop disagreeing? No hun. The learning and unlearning will continue as long as you are still together.
Be fair and honest to your mate when dealing with conflicts. Sometimes our mate may hit us below the belt and say some hurtful words, keep in mind that we can’t control how and what our partner says to us but our response can change things.
Sometimes, I’ve discovered that the right thing to do when a disagreement occurs is in our subconscious, I mean we know what to do but as humans, we always want to either check-in with what others are doing or just feel the need to satisfy a part of us that says “you are more than your mate takes you to be” and this mindset causes us to react in ways we shouldn’t.
Note that I don’t mean we should put up with nonsense or validate inappropriate behavior but I mean we should iron out issues with our mate in a loving manner and still keep our bond intact.
There should be room to always disagree to agree, that way your partner is free to express themselves. So when next your significant other starts acting up or you are tempted to get into a heated argument or there’s a disagreement with your mate, bear in mind the lines above.
The grass isn’t greener on the other side, you have to tend yours. Happily ever after happens when you turn your lemons into lemonades. Learn to concentrate more on the positives of your spouse. Yes, recall their good parts, their intelligence, support, care, gentleness, thoughtfulness and what endeared you to them.
Relearn their response to disagreements and know when to be quiet or when to speak up. Your relationship is very different from every relationship out there.
Do what suits your mate and reach boundaries on how to resolve issues when they come up. Even when your mate behaves otherwise, be the mature one and call for a truce.
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