What is conflict?
Conflict refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.
This is a usual occurrence in relationships. Conflict in itself isn’t bad, it is how it is resolved that can be bad.
How can we handle conflict with maturity such that it brings about the strengthening of the relationship rather than the weakening of it?
- Selfishness is what makes conflict to degenerate. Anytime you insist on your own position without trying to see from your partner’s view point.
- Take responsibility for the maintenance and restoration of peace. Peace doesn’t just happen; you have to guard it jealously. Anytime there is a breakdown, be the initiator of reconciliation. You will not get any trophy for being the one that can keep malice the longest. Blessed are the pacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
- Accept your own part of the issue. Don’t always trade blames. Your partner can’t always be the one in the wrong. Be humble enough to access the situation objectively. You are not an angel! You can be at fault too you know?
- Pray, involve God. Some situation can be so complex and overwhelming. Ask God for wisdom to handle it. Don’t always rely on your own wisdom. Nothing is beyond God!
- Whenever your partner offends you, discuss the issue with him first, never with a third party. You have no right to report to another person, a matter you haven’t informed your partner of.
- If you have discussed it with him/her and there is no resolution, you may involve a third party. The choice of a third is very crucial, not everyone qualifies. It is advisable that couples should discuss and agree from the onset the people that qualify for this task. You may consider your mentor, counsellor, your spiritual leader, etc. Men, please note that you may not be able to insist that your wife should never talk to anyone about your relationship. This is actually good for her mental health.
- If the third party intervention didn’t work out and the issue persist, you may need to involve more people and in the case of physical abuse some social/welfare offices.
- Now, don’t think you will always reach agreement with your partner on all issues. Here, compromise may be necessary. You may have to lower your expectation from him/her. In some cases, you may just have to learn to cope with the situation. The ability to accept some things you can’t change may be the wise thing to do.
- Don’t stop communicating with your partner because of the yet to be resolved issue. You must still agree to love your spouse even if you don’t agree on some issues.
To your marital wellness!