Resolve conflicts in your relationship

Conflict is inevitable. Like an unexpected rain. You don’t know it is coming, and the next thing you know, you are wet.

However, conflict is not necessarily bad. If we learn the SKILLSETS to handle them, we can grow our relationship through conflict. Let’s dance in the rain!

Here are the actions or mindset we can take on:

  • Positively influence
  • Attitude adjustments
  • Deal with past failures
  • Delight in the difference
  • Speak your spouse’s love languages
  • Empathise

Heart to heart talk

When was the last time you communicate deeply with your spouse? Communication beyond ‘how are you today?’

We want to build the habit of talking about the weird uncomfortable stuff.

  • What are some mistakes that you need forgiving?
  • How do you usually handle stress and handle conflict?
  • What are some ways you would like to be served by your spouse?

We don’t need to wait till bad thing happen before we (don’t) discuss these. Build the habits NOW.

Rules and verbal cues

We know that we are not perfect. We know that conflict will come. Plan for it. What will we do to prevent conflict? What will we do during a conflict? Plan for it.

  • Verbal cues e.g. I would like to cool off / I am feeling angry right now and I don’t want to discuss this now.
  • The ‘I’ message
    Sowing negatively vs sowing positively 
    Can I say something? (a pre-empt) 
    I feel…… When you do…… 
    I hope that next time this happen again you would…. 
    - Sometimes it is not about right or wrong. It is about serving each other. 
    - your spouse’s feeling is important

The goal of conflict resolution: connection, not agreement

The goal is not agreement (no right and wrong answer). The goal is connection; to understand your spouse’s perspective and the truth that is happening inside him/her. 
Let your spouse understand who you are. 
Understand where your spouse is coming from.

Listen to the feelings beyond the content.

Practice conflict. Remember. Practise. Negotiate difference. Be aware that both of you are different. Self-awareness. Aware of each other. Then negotiate differences.

Watch your tongue

Out of the heart your mouth speaks. 
When you talk about in laws, how is your emotion? Where does it come from? Holy spirit, why do I talk like this? 
Words are powerful.
When you sow good words you reap good fruits.

Hey, this tongue is powerful! God has given THIS to build! I love this and I wanna use this to plant good seeds.

(after a bad conversation you can break the curse) 
I declare that my spouse is not like (what you said earlier) …… I declare that she will be…. 
I pray for my wife……

4 horsemen of conflicts

  • Criticism: I choose to find fault, value my opinion. >>>>> Solution: Using the I statement, express a positive need.
  • Contempt: attacking sense of self with an intent to insult or abuse e.g. Bad humor >>> Solution: focus on the problem not the person. Remember yourself of your spouse’s positive qualities
  • Defensiveness: Victimising yourself to ward off a perceived attack and reverse the blame. Pride, not assessing myself >>> Solution: Accept responsibility. Focus on your behaviour, your contribution. Apologise.
  • Stonewalling: withdrawing to avoid conflict and convey disapproval, distance, separation. I choose not to address this issue, to fight you in a passive aggressive way, not to be with you >>>> Solution: Acknowledge to self, admit to spouse (I’ve not been forthcoming), ask for forgiveness, address the cause of stonewalling (I don’t like to feel nagged, I’m just tired)