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10 Tips to Avoid Fights in a Marriage

By POOJA KHERA
May 25, 2021 09:54 IST
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Fix the feud before you end your day.
Don't go to bed with the unresolved squabbles, suggests relationship and wellness coach Pooja Khera.

How to resolve conflict in a married relationship

IMAGE: A scene from Out of Love only posted for representational purposes.

It is no secret that married couples, especially those married for long time, have unsolved issues.

When pushed under the carpet these issues are never addressed in the fear of disturbing the peace of the house.

This often leads to the classic escape of ostrich putting his head in the sand.

If you resort to this method of evading the hassle-at-hand it will lead to frequent conflicts that could turn nasty.

Though experts suggest that some amount of conflict is healthy but if brewing problems are not resolved at the earliest, these problems can create disruptive undercurrents in relationships that can disturb an otherwise happy marriage.

Understanding discord is never easy. It goes far deeper than different backgrounds and belief systems.

It definitely cannot be localised to varying habits and expectations.

What is then the key to handle marital dispute?

Clearly, avoiding an issue is not the answer, but dealing with it with maturity and compassion is the key.

Here are 10 tips for married couples who may be going through a tough time:

1. Accept your role in the conflict

During a conflict, our first instinct is to react.

How many of us pay attention to what is being said to understand and empathize?

Most often we listen only to snap back.

When you want to react, just take a pause. Step back. Ponder and introspect.

Think about what was your role in the build-up of this conflict?

Did you raise your voice?

Did you patronise and try to control the outcome of an issue?

Are you the perpetrator or a silent spectator?

Once you realise the fundamental cause you will get clarity on the problem. Admit to your part, take responsibility, and move towards a resolution.

2. Learn to let go

Here you perhaps have to dig deep and draw from the love you feel for your spouse.

Partners can sometimes act exasperatingly. They may be doing so unintentionally.

If the issues are innocuous then it is a waste of your loving energy to argue about it.

Here, patience should be the key.

Taking strength from the love you have for your better half and let go of most things that are harmless.

If you change your perspective maybe you could even find it amusing.

3. Stick to the issue at hand

More often than not when couples argue they tend to go off on a tangent.

With so much history between both of you, there would be many contentions.

One can bring up arguments and incidents from the past and forget the main issue at hand. This escalates the conflict and builds a more hostile atmosphere.

Just hold on....let the bygones be bygones. Just stick to the present problem and determine to sort it out.

4. Remain level headed

Raising your voice and ranting at your partner is one of the worst things in a conflict-situation.

When either of the partners get defensive and shout back the other one just goes into a shell and becomes non-receptive.

This beats the very purpose of 'sorting it out'.

Rather than hitting it out, take a deep breath. Take a moment.

It is best that you move away from the situation or go for a walk which will help you clear your thoughts.

Take your time, refresh, and then go back to your partner to find a solution.

5. Give each other a chance to speak and express

This is about being a good listener. It is a virtue that most of us need to cultivate.

Remember, conflict can escalate if your spouse refuses to consider your point of view.

Both of you must respect each other's stance instead of dismissing them unceremoniously.

If your spouse feels restricted and unable to resolve the issue then stop convincing and influencing them.

Each of you must listen to deeply understand the concerns with patience.

Let your partner speak freely without restrain. Do not interfere and speak before your turn.

It is very important for partners to feel that they are being heard.

Give your entire focus on your partner when they are speaking and take turns to express feelings and views.

Reciprocal attention brings in more insight and thus creates awareness and help in resolving the problem.

6. Apologise

In an argument, nothing is more powerful than saying 'sorry'.

Instead of focussing on right or wrong, acknowledge each other's feelings and offer a sincere apology that is focused on reducing the bitterness.

An empathetic expression of remorse allows partners to move away from spitefulness.

Remember, an important aspect of apology is a mindful change in behaviour.

Implement the change and begin anew.

7. Emotions can be powerful

Try not to get add logic into an emotional discussion.

Settle the issue with sensitivity.

Most of the times the best outcomes does not always depend on rationale and reasoning.

So avoid intellectualisng a problem.

When disputes are settled with love, compassion and warmth, it makes partners feel secure.

It also helps identify and change the core aggravation which manifests itself as a bigger problem. This also leads to a better closure.

Blaming each other creates a bitterness that is best avoided if you want to have a long loving relationship.

8. Don't jump to conclusions

Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.

Make sure you understand them exactly the way they want to be understood before drawing any conclusions.

Address the dilemma that is bothering you instead of creating your narrative about it.

Stay away from giving the issue an unwanted twist and creating an entirely different story that is untrue.

If what your partner is saying is unclear or confusing to you, ask for clarification instead of making an assumption. And yes, avoid putting words in their mouth.

9. Don't go to bed angry

Fix the feud before you end your day. Don't go to bed with the unresolved squabbles.

This will not only cause more emotional stress but will also make you feel unvalued and lost.

Moreover, you will carry the conflict to the next day and in the process escalate it.

10. A little compromise does not hurt

Remember why you fell in love in the first place and determine to find solutions that are acceptable to both partners.

If you want, go a step further and do a role reversal.

Take turns to try each other's solutions. It will also indicate which approach or solution works best.

This would also mean that each partner will have their way once and then the next time, the other partner takes over. Talk about a win-win situation!

Remember that a successful marital relationship is not the one where there is no conflict but the one where partners can resolve conflicts respectfully.

A successful marriage is based on respect, attention and care.

And with this, let there be peace!

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