Husband and Wife Dispute Problem Solution: How To Resolve Conflicts Between Husband and Wife

"And they lived happily ever after.........."

Yeah right.

Perhaps I'm a little bit jaded, since I work all day with couples in conflict.

On the other hand, conflict comes to even the healthiest of marriages.

It's just that we seem so unprepared for how to handle conflict. We know in our heads that "happily ever after" is true only in stories and fairly tales, yet in our hearts we long for it to be true.

In the best of all possible worlds, we would be well prepared for handling conflict before we get married. My experience in my office tells me that is just not the case for most couples.

Part of the reason for this is there is just so much in a marriage relationship that can cause conflict. I've written before about what's called the Big Six, the six main areas of conflict in marriage.

The Big Six are the areas of communication, money, sex, children, in-laws and religion. Perhaps we should call it the Big Seven, and add the all important issue of who gets to hold the TV remote control.

No kidding, I've actually had couples fighting over this issue. I've even had them fighting over the age old issue of how to hang the toilet paper roll, over or under. When I suggested that when you consider what you will use the toilet paper for, it really doesn't matter, it seemed to clear up the issue.

Humor goes a long way in resolving conflict.

Having said all that, let's look at some specific ways to handle conflict in marriage. This is called the three C's of conflict resolution and they stand for Compromise, Co-exist and Capitulation.


"A compromise would surely help the situation." - 10CC

Compromise is clearly the optimal solution to conflict. The problem comes when couples approach conflict as a win-lose situation, which makes it very difficult to reach a compromise. It's simply human nature to want to be right, and so we approach resolving conflict from a right or wrong perspective.

What this typically leads to is one person usually getting their way or their needs met at the expense of the other person. While this may work for awhile, it eventually leads to bitterness and resentment.

Compromise, on the other hand, becomes a win-win situation. A couple approaches conflict resolution from a team mate/partner perspective. There are basically three key ingredients to compromise; 1) each person gives a little,
2) each person gets as many needs met as possible, and 3) each person works for the good of the relationship, not their own desires.

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"Let's try it your way." - An experienced and wise spouse

I can hear it now. "But isn't capitulation just giving in and being codependent with someone?" It can be, if done on a regular basis over time. Over the course of a marriage, or any long term relationship, for that matter, there are times when the best thing to do is try it the other persons way.

The capitulating partner comes from a place that basically says, "Our relationship and our happiness is more important to me than this issue. Let's try it your way."

That's not codependency, it's cooperation.


"There's only you and me and we just disagree." - Dave Mason

There are times in marriage where each spouse feels strongly enough about their beliefs or position that they can not move or come to the other person's side.

There are certainly some issues in marriage where this could signal the end of the relationship.

However, in many circumstances, couples can simply agree to disagree, and move on. They learn to "co-exist" on the issue in question.

I know of many couples who have taken this route on various issues and continue to have very strong marriages. What can happen over time, after being given the room to each have their opinion, spouses are able to move into compromise. Even if couples remain in a co-existing position on an issue, they can still have a strong marriage.

Conflict in marriage is inevitable. The successful handling of conflict involves a healthy and balanced mix of the skills of compromise, capitulation and co-existing. No matter how you hang the toilet paper.

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Conflict stands out among many odd words and is suggestive of a constructive fight or struggle. The word constructive becomes very important here because conflict presents with it a very deep meaning as a matter of cause.

In a deeper sense, conflict tends to strike a balance between two opposites. God made man and out of him created woman also. They both must live together if there is going to be a balance. Though the male came first, yet the female is not inferior, or unimportant. Though both sexes conflict one another, yet they need themselves to create harmony, peace, progress and continuity.

Marriage was instituted to carry out the following three constructive potentialities, which are made possible whenever there is mutual understanding between a man and a woman.

1. Procreation - Man is made to replicate himself. Conflict between a man and his wife may deny them the work of perpetuation of mankind on earth.

2. Good Health - Marriage promotes healthy living and through intercourse, which is the most powerful of human desires, the relationship is cemented. In marriage, sex serves as a wonderful tool in health maintenance, and can be so disturbed by conflict.

3. Transformation - Marriage brings transformation. A man relinquishes every act of boyhood, as well as the woman, to face reality. The blending of two opposites as one is the mystery and beauty of every marriage. As result, every marriage is prone to attack. Conflict arises when the two parties fail to unite easily. Mutual understanding between two couples is at the head of a sustainable transformation. Stability of mind is often created in the place of mutual relationship.

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Sex desire is so strong that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. Marriage is the best tool to harnessing it. Every marriage is a challenge to conflict and conflict is the undoing of every marriage. However, when conflict arises, mutual love flees. Conflict deflates the air of every marriage but proper understanding can set both parties on top of their situation.

A situation well understood by one or both parties is on the way to crumble, especially when sexual desire sets in. When one or both parties are driven by this desire, there is room for keen imagination, courage to face the future, will-power, persistence and creative ability unknown to them.

With a highly developed sex nature, a man sits on top of his problems. This is because the presence of a woman motivates and influences him ideally. A virile man confronts and silences opposition or competition in the simplest, but most complex way possible. People who possess highly developed sex nature achieve outstanding recognition in life. God made women as instruments of arousing the creative faculties of the mind through sex, because in every woman lies the stimulating ability to influence.

However, the man/woman relationship in a bond of marriage is not to be marred by conflict. Marriage is peace of mind and goes beyond any form of conflict. Marriage lifts a man into a higher sphere of thought that enables him master the sources of worry and petty annoyance which beset his pathway on the lower plane.

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If you are having difficulties in your marriage it can be devastating, both physically and emotionally. To help you out, here are 3 tips to save a marriage that can help you and your spouse through some of the challenges that you may experience in your relationship.

1. Remain Calm

Although it can be very hard to do, it is important to remain calm when facing a marriage crisis. You must not let your emotional state dictate your response to situations. Instead, it is important to keep a level head about problems that arise and deal with them rationally. If your spouse is reacting emotionally or being aggressive towards you, don't get defensive or go on the attack against them, it will only make things worse.

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2. Communicate

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship. Without effective communication between you and your spouse, the problems that each of your are experiencing will never be resolved, they will only get worse over time. Notice that I said effective communication, because simply yelling and screaming at each other will not help the situation either. This is related to the idea of remaining calm, in that emotional responses will only make things worse.

3. Choose

Realize that when faced with any situation, you have a choice of whether you are going to get emotional and complain about your situation, or act and change your behaviors. Nothing about your relationship is going to change unless you and your partner decide to make changes to yourselves. This will not be easy for either of you, but it is a key element of maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

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There is no marriage or relationship out there that is always smooth sailing. A marriage is never free from trouble, problems or obstacles. The main factor is when couples are faced with marriage troubles, how they navigate through those problems and coming up triumphant is important. Sadly, most couples look at family marriage counseling as a last resort to saving their troubled marriage from ending up in a divorce.

Think that way and you will definitely regret it later for not taking the option of talking to a marriage counselor earlier. Talking to a marriage counselor can be a proactive action to help couples stabilize their marriage and ensure that they stay married for a longer time. Through marriage therapy counseling, couples will learn to minimize conflict.

Conflicts in a marriage cannot be avoided. There are a variety of reasons that can cause a couple to have conflicts in a marriage. To err is human. Saying the wrong words at the wrong time can sometimes cause couples to clash. However, most conflicts in marriage can actually be readily resolved. However, there are some marriage troubles that do require help and intervention from others. When this happens, I highly recommend you seek help from a marriage and family counseling specialist.

Our marriage institution is so fragile now that the moment there is a sign of trouble, couples just give up. They believe the process of recovery is too painful and long to contemplate. When you try to solve your marriage troubles without help from a marriage counselor, it will seem like an insurmountable obstacle to face. However, as mentioned earlier, giving family marriage counseling a chance will help you build a more fulfilling, happy and stronger marriage.

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Nevertheless, it is important that you do not have unrealistic expectations before meeting a marriage counselor. Results cannot be achieved overnight. Your marriage troubles take time to develop before it erupts. Hence both spouses must agree to invest their time and resources into fixing their troubled marriage. Any decisions into the direction of the marriage can only be determined by both spouses and not a marriage counselor. A counselor is there to only guide couples into making the right decision that is best for their marriage.

What will be the focus during family marriage counseling?

Almost all marriage therapist will advice couples to put their past behind. Couples are taught how to forgive each other. They learn how to trust and be compassionate again. Most importantly couples learn to start with a clean slate and make decisions that come from their hearts.

It is a common behavior for couples to use past transgressions as ammunition towards their spouse when new mistakes are made. The blame game can also be a contributing factor just to justify your anger every time a spouse stumbles. These are destructive behaviors that can cause repair in a marriage to hit the wall and can cause married couples to feel unhappy, exhausted and frustrated. Never justify your actions as an excuse to inflict hurt on your spouse just because they wronged you first.

Yes, the cost of marriage counseling does not come cheap. However, divorce proceedings are not any cheaper. Not to mention the emotional scars that accompanies any divorce, not only on couples but also on the children.

Seeking family marriage counseling when you try to fix your troubled marriage is a much simpler way for couples to discuss problems and issues that is affecting their marriage. It is done in an amicable environment with a mediator who has the same goal as you and your spouse - to save your troubled marriage. Surely, it is something worth considering and trying.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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