When two people get married they live happily ever after, right? Maybe in a Disney movie, but certainly not in real life. It is inevitable that when two distinctly unique people join together conflict will happen from time to time. But is conflict always bad for couples?
Should We Always Try to Avoid Conflict?
According to Dr. Renee Peltz Dennison, in a recent article for Psychology Today, not all conflict in marriage is bad. Multiple factors play a role in the impact a conflict has on a marriage. And while researchers have long tried to figure out how to prevent it, some conflict in a marriage may actually be good.
Sometimes it's Best to Confront the Issue
If there is something your partner does that really bothers you, it is better to mention it (politely of course) than to let it fester. There is a good chance of solving the problem quickly if you can talk through it. However, if you wait until you can't take it anymore, your partner may feel blindsided when you do finally bring it up.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
Bringing an issue up over and over again (aka "nagging") is not a productive way to solve a conflict. According to Dr. Dennison, if you bring up an issue repeatedly it becomes "noise" and eventually, your partner will either tune you out or withdraw to another room. It is best in this situation to try and reach some sort of compromise.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
Ultimately, the goal should be to understand what caused the conflict to begin with. Is there an underlying issue? Try to work it out by talking through it if you can, or write each other letters. Seek counseling if you need more help solving it. While some conflict is healthy in a marriage, yelling and screaming is not. So do your best to work it out before it escalates beyond your control.
Seek Professional Advice When It's Necessary
Most conflicts can be worked out, although some may require the advice of a professional counselor. However, there are times when a conflict is beyond repair. In these cases, if separation or divorce is imminent, it is best to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. Fortunately, at The Powell Law Firm, we can help with answers to your questions about divorce.