How Conflict can Build a Stronger Marriage

build a stronger marriageIt is nearly impossible to avoid conflict in marriages. Oftentimes, it is even necessary for couples to move their relationship forward and define a new level of trust, commitment, and communication. Conflict, while not a true measure of a marriage’s success or how strong a marriage is, can make a marriage stronger by allowing couples to engage in collaboration, broaden their methods of resolving issues, and expand their understanding of one another’s needs and preferences. Even when there are a limited number of conflicts that arise in your marriage, you can benefit from resolving them quickly.

Opposites Attract

The old adage that opposites attract might be true, but the dynamics of such a relationship are bound to lead to differences that result in conflicts and heated debates. In reality, there is no substantial difference between couples that have opposing personalities and preferences and couples who share likes and have similar personalities. In fact, it really isn’t a matter of the individual but rather the two people together as a couple. There are different types of couples and each type will have different methods of resolving a conflict. However, you and your marital partner might find that this characteristic actually benefits the relationship and makes it stronger. For couples that have a more hostile relationship, it just means it will take more work to resolve conflicts.

It Takes Two

Obviously, a relationship will not work if one person exhibits respect for her or his partner and there is no reciprocation. When you are in the midst of a conflict, this is the perfect time to exercise mutuality. Each of you should be listening, trying to understand one another, and offering viable solutions that will be implemented immediately once agreed upon. Each conflict should end with both of you having stronger trust for one another and truly believing that the marriage can survive. This will make your marriage stronger and prove that you can get through anything, as long as you’re both working together to make sure every conflict is resolved within a timely manner and with no loose ends to return to or reignite the conflict.

Playing For Keeps

The fact that you’re even willing to resolve each and every conflict, no matter what it takes, is enough to make your marriage stronger. Unfortunately, some conflicts aren’t as easy to resolve as others. When you come across the more difficult ones, you might need to rely on a temporary moment of separation so that you can each think without actually having to bounce ideas and feelings off of one another. Of course, it is always a great idea to confront conflicts head on, but if you know you are going to say something hurtful or that you will regret later, it might be better to give yourself time to think of a better way and calmer words to express your feelings, wants, and needs. You are playing for keeps, so to speak, and you want the end result to be a permanent resolution so that you and your spouse continue to build trust, respect, communication, and the marriage grows stronger.

Couples don’t always have to agree on everything and there are going to be times when these disagreements will result in bigger conflicts. This is the time when each person needs to exercise a fair amount of respect, understanding, communication, and forgiveness. These are the types of elements of a marriage that make a marriage stronger and allow couples to deepen their trust in one another, renew their commitment to the relationship, and develop new and improved ways of resolving issues that arise.

If you’d like a free telephone consultation, please contact us at (510) 521-9500 for our East Bay office, or (415) 482-7800 at our San Rafael office.