"So encourage each other and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Conflict Resolution! Truth is all of us experience it but what we do with conflict will determine the outcome. Will it be an explosion of stuffed down emotions or swept under the carpet with a pretense that if we ignore the conflict it'll go away...
After 28 years of marriage we laugh about how we resolved conflict in the early days: one yelled and the other shut down. Thank goodness we've been firm about finding healthy resolve.
"Happy couples do not avoid disagreements; they resolve them while remaining respectful of each other, thereby strengthening their relationship" *(PREPARE/ENRICH)
Resolving conflict isn't necessarily something we're taught therefore it's often assumed all conflict is bad. Conflict can strengthen the unity in marriage but requires the following:
A plan of action - establish a plan about "how" to resolve the disagreement before it happens. This keep us from derailing during conversation.
Boundaries are the lines you both agree won't be crossed.
Time out is something we associate with stubborn children. It applies to stubborn adults as well.
When conversations escalate to the point of disaster, take a cool down period about an hour. We suggest using time out as an opportunity to consult God for self control and wisdom NOT building our case against one another - that accomplishes nothing. What calms you down? a walk, gardening, journaling.
*PREPARE/ENRICH- building strong marriages. Over the last 30 years, the PREPARE/ENRICH relationship assessment has empowered and energized more than 3 million couples. The #1 relationship inventory and couples assessment tool. The Loves are certified and use the materials with Biblical counseling for couples.