Sunday, 4 December 2011

Marriage Conflicts

To solve a marriage problem, you have to talk with each other about it, choosing wisely the time and place.  But when accusations and lengthy speeches of defense fill the dialogue, the partners are not talking to each other but past each other.  Take care to listen more than you speak.  If you still can’t agree on a solution, consider asking a third party, without a vested interest, to mediate. (R.C. Sproul  The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 68.)

No marriage is free of conflict. That's because every couple is made up of two distinctly different people, with different experiences, interests and emotional predispositions. Regardless of the compatibility a couple creates in marriage, a husband and wife will always have somewhat different perspectives, and those differences will create conflict. Conflicts over money, careers, in-laws, child rearing, and a host of other common marital issues are part of the experience of being married. 

Some couples feel that if they could only rid themselves of certain conflicts, they would be happy together. But marriages can be terrific in spite of conflicts, even when some of them are never fully resolved. The difference between couples who live in marital bliss and those who regret ever having met each other is not found in whether or not they are free of conflict -- it's found in whether or not they are in love with each other.
Marriage is an area of our lives where effective planning is often regarded as unnecessary. Couples usually believe that they should be guided by their instincts whenever they have a conflict. Regarding emotional needs in a marriage, most spouses believe that couples should do for each other what they "feel" like doing. If there is no interest in meeting a particular need, it should simply go unmet.
Instinct also prevails in most couples efforts to resolve conflicts. Instead of resolving their marital conflicts by creating and implementing a well conceived plan, they revert to their primitive instincts -- demands, disrespect and anger -- to try to resolve their conflicts. These instincts not only fail to provide them with long-term solutions, but they also destroy the feeling of love. Because couples don't know any better, they keep using demands, disrespect and anger to try to resolve their marital conflicts until their love for each other turns into hate.
Create a plan to resolve your conflicts and restore love to your marriage. And then follow that plan. Insight into your problem is an important beginning but without action, insight is useless. 

Create a Plan
Sustained romantic love is a litmus test of your care and protection of each other. Care is nothing more than meeting each other's important emotional needs and protection is accommodating each other's feelings in what you do each day. Your marriage will be passionate and fulfilling if both you and your spouse create and follow a plan that guarantees care and protection. It's well worth the effort.
Following sequence can guide your own personal plan to restore love to your marriage and to resolve conflicts:
  1. Make a commitment to just follow the plan
  2. Identify habits that threaten to destroy romantic love.
  3. Create and execute a plan that eliminates those identified habits
  4. Identifying the most important emotional needs.
  5. Learn to meet the emotional needs of your spouses

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