Mindsets that Generate Magic Moments in a Marriage: Conflict Resolution

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A couple that resolves conflict quickly and painlessly encourages Magic Moments.

Not all marriages suffer from conflict. I’m talking primarily about verbal conflict.

Some couples say they never “fight.” And, they don’t. They find a way to cope and manage differences without resorting to verbal assaults.

I would guess that 15-25% of marriages find conflict resolution problematic.

Often this couple has one or both who value independence and cope by putting their own feelings and thoughts out there – first. The aggressive one wins – supposedly. The battle is to get one’s way.

Some couples fight like cats and dogs because it maintains distance. Fighting gives one or both the reason to walk away and not Engage the other.

Conflict may be the result of a lack of internal controls or impulsiveness. It all hangs out, regardless of the consequences or impact on another.

In other marriages, there is a “let’s fight, because making up is so wonderful” theme. Conflict is the spark, juice and drama and turns up the eventual passion.

These strategies often maintain an equilibrium in a marriage, but limit the marriage in terms of engagement and intimacy of depth.

Consider these characteristics of a person who manages conflict well and welcomes a deeper level of
engagement:

  1. I let myself feel angry and express it truthfully.
  2. I respect my spouse and do not insult or speak sarcastically, especially when I am angry.
  3. When I am angry I act like an adult; I do not say or do things which I regret later.
  4. When we disagree, I listen carefully to my spouse’s point of view.
  5. I know what provokes my spouse, and choose not to push his/her buttons.
  6. I am aware of my tendency to criticize my spouse and I apologize when it happens.
  7. When I make a mistake, I say so, and apologize for any negative consequences.
  8. I honor my spouse’s dignity; I do not separate myself by being patronizing.
  9. We resolve problems quickly and easily and learn from them.
  10. I value our relationship far more than being right.

Here’s your task:
Copy this list. Print it out and take it with you. Spend two days reading it periodically. Paste it on your fridge. Make it desktop on your computer. Tape it to your mirror. Keep it in front of you, just for two days. Think about the list. Reflect on the list. Allow the list to sink deeply in to you.

Then, put it aside for a week.

Come back to the list a week later and see what sifts have taken place in your mind or in your relationship. Describe how the list has impacted you and your marriage. What did you do differently? What new attitudes do you now possess? What mental breakthroughs did you make, if any?

If you are separated, divorced and/or single, feel free to use this exercise targeting any relationship of significant emotional investment.

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