Dont Avoid Conflict and Confrontation with Your Spouse

"I just let him handle things his way."

"We're not very good at resolving problems, so I let it
go."

"I just hate confrontation!"

Listening, talking, communicating, resolving problems,
making joint decisions... these are requirements for all
couples. Without good communication skills and quality time
dedicated to communicating, relationships soon flounder and
fail, especially among couples with the stress of two
careers and a full family life.

Many couples don't talk because they are avoiding conflict
and confrontation. There is a common misconception that
conflict and confrontation are bad. One of the major reasons
couples have problems is their failure to confront issues
head-on. They may fight openly or quietly seethe, but they
have a terrible time confronting the real conflict
respectfully and honestly. It's as if confrontation and
conflict are impolite. However, conflict and confrontation
are natural and healthy components of any relationship. You
are neither bad nor wrong for causing a conflict or
identifying one. Conflict is an opportunity to open up
communication on a difficult subject.

Do not fear conflict and confrontation. Avoiding conflict is
not the goal. Rather you want to develop the tools to "lean
into" conflicts and resolve them early on, so that you can
reorganize your lives to include the new learning. Because
married couples have a lot at stake when it comes to their
relationship, they are prone to avoid conflict or to use
ineffective tools to solve the conflict too quickly.
Compromising and acquiescing are two of these ineffective
tools.

Most couples are shocked when I advise them to avoid
compromises at all costs. After all, isn't compromise a
requirement of partnership? The reality is that decisions
that are arrived at through compromise usually lack
creativity and seldom last. Sure, a compromise now and then
may be necessary for the sake of expediency, but if a
decision is important, a compromise may cause anger and
resistance. Because compromises are usually a result of both
people giving up something in order to get an agreement, the
decision is a watered-down version of two stronger opinions.

Compromise is the easy way out when you are trying to avoid
conflict and confrontation. It appears that the compromise
will smooth ruffled feathers and that both partners can go
away happy. What really happens, however, is that each
partner leaves feeling as though they have been had. One
person may resent having to compromise and will be looking
for ammunition to prove that the decision was a bad one.
Another person may feel he or she has done the honorable
thing by not pushing his or her opinion on the other, only
to feel unappreciated later when the compromise plan is
dropped. If you stop and think about it, how long have your
compromise decisions really lasted?

Acquiescing or forcing your opinion upon your partner are
other ways of avoiding conflict. In seeking to avoid
conflict, for example, a persuasive person may push his or
her partner to acquiesce to a certain point of view, but
this does not mean that the partner agrees. It may mean only
that the partner actually does not want to fight and so
appears to agree, when he or she has only given in. Don't
make the mistake of pushing to win at all costs or to
acquiescing to the persuader, when you don't agree. In
either case, if you are the persuader or the acquiescent
partner, the conflict has not been resolved and, what's
worse, may have been driven underground.

If you don't make time to talk, if you don't consider
nurturing your personal relationship as important, and if
you avoid healthy conflict and confrontation, your
relationship will disintegrate. So take the time now to
evaluate your communication skills. Invest in the time to
develop a meaningful, loving relationship with your spouse.

Copyright © 2000 Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S.

Dr. Kathy Marshack, is a licensed psychologist with over thirty years of experience as a marriage & family therapist. Visit her website at www.kmarshack.com for more of her practical self-help advice.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

7 Ways To Improve Your Relationships At Work
Forbes
Being a career coach, I've heard a lot of stories about workplace interactions, mainly between an employer and employee. In fact, one global study found that 79% of people who quit their jobs cite 'lack of appreciation' as their reason for leaving. If ...


Bustle

9 Times Reaching A Plateau In Your Relationship Is A Problem
Bustle
Relationships go through phases, just like individuals do. But if you're going through a romantic relationship plateau, it can feel quite jarring. While not all plateaus signal that there's a bigger issue with a relationship, there are some signs to ...


Forbes

How Social Media Usage Affects Doctor To Patient Relationships
Forbes
Another massive study conducted at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, indicates that social media has even a stronger impact on doctor-patient relationships. After analyzing over 1,700 articles, researches identified that the patients' use ...


Forbes

How To Overcome The Three Challenges Of Maintaining Professional Relationships
Forbes
With refined communication skills at the ready and a host of networking opportunities marked on your calendar, you're well on your way to building the strong relationships you need to succeed in your career. But simply making connections just isn't ...


Psychology Today (blog)

To Understand Your Relationships, Try Understanding Yourself
Psychology Today (blog)
Relationships involve a constant give-and-take between the desires of each partner for both self-expression and intimacy. According to a recent paper by University of California Davis psychologist Christopher Hopwood and Michigan State University's ...


PatientEngagementHIT.com

How Online Medical Info Impacts Patient-Provider Relationships
PatientEngagementHIT.com
November 19, 2018 - The slew of online medical information is impacting patient-provider relationships, according to a new survey from Merck Manuals. The survey of 240 family physicians found that patients are increasingly accessing online medical ...


Fast Company

Furniture shopping really does kill relationships
Fast Company
All the decision-making, particularly around such expensive items, puts a lot of strain on relationships. The average American couple has 72 arguments around purchasing decisions when setting up their homes. This is a process that takes, on average ...


The Florida Times-Union

Live for Life: Marriage enrichment nonprofit helps save relationships, reduce Duval divorce rate
The Florida Times-Union
April and Tad O'Brien connected online in June 2012 and met in person a month later at a Jacksonville Sharks game, breaking the ice by following the theme of the night and dressing up in '70s garb. They were both divorced with children, had careers and ...

and more »

Social relationships more important than hard evidence in partisan politics
Science Daily
Three factors drive the formation of social and political groups according to the research: social pressure to have stronger opinions, the relationship of an individual's opinions to those of their social neighbors, and the benefits of having social ...

and more »

BBC News

What it's like to be in a 'throuple' relationship
BBC News
On Tuesday 20th November 5 Live is hosting the #sextakeover - a day of programming focussed on sexual behaviour, relationships and attitudes in the UK. Ahead of the event we spoke to husband and wife Thomas and Cathy, and their partner Nicole.

Google News

Hunter and Gatherer

Deep down, we haven't evolved as much as we would... Read More

Prison Wife: Stand By Your Man

There are approximately 2 million men in the prison system... Read More

When Attracting Sexy Women, Remember... Time And Circumstance Change Everything

Many guys are just too intimidated and full of anxiety... Read More

Building the Bond in Your Relationship

A bond (relationship wise) is when two people have a... Read More

Relationship Advice: 9 More Must-Know Tips for Couples

The Law of Two QuestionsThere are two questions that couples... Read More

Charisma, Love and Health

This is an amazing story. It's about my friend Robert.... Read More

What Is A Boundary In A Relationship?

You might ask yourself, I have heard this word boundary,... Read More

Why Do Men and Women Misunderstand Each Other So Much

Joke from a Woman to another Woman "Some husbands are... Read More

Relationship Advice - 5 Sure Fire Ways to Mess Things Up

1) Stay committed to your "right to be right."Argue for... Read More

8 Ways to Improve Your Long Distance Relationship

Couples in love may often find themselves having to live... Read More

What Does a Dangerous Man Look Like?

When you are dating you try to keep from a... Read More

Power Struggle!

The greatest asset we have in human existence is our... Read More

Never Ever Show Youre Jealous

O.k., you're standing there all alone at a party and... Read More

The Three Levels of Soul Mates

From my own personal experience of being involved in certain... Read More

Better Than Help

One thing that women in abusive relationships and their family... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 2

Troll Detection Made EasyDue to their overwhelming lack of social... Read More

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places? - How to fine tune your relationship radar

I don't think a week goes by that I don't... Read More

The Three Rings of Relationships

Glenna Trout is an international authority on face reading whose... Read More

Only You Can Decide If Your Interracial Love Will Stand the Test of Time

Interracial dating has really evolved over the past two decades... Read More

The 7 Stages of a Romantic Relationship

There are seven stages in a romantic relationship: avoidance, meeting,... Read More

Relationship Quiz - Copasetic, Caution, or Conundrum?

This quiz is based on key areas of communication and... Read More

Relationship Advice - How to Get Out and Stay Out of Relationships Ruts

"The only difference between a rut and a grave are... Read More

Penpal and Christian Penpal

Having a penpal can be fun; bringing diversity into your... Read More

Holy Mantrimony

In the last couple of weeks, the catholic war machine... Read More

10 Things Never to Say to A Guy

1. WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN? You'll see him... Read More