Is there a way to do marital fighting that enhances the relationship?
Present life is really hectic. So much time we spend distracted with so many sources of confusion...we have sounds, phone calls, messages to take care of. It's like as if we are managing several lives at the same time, from the only body we have. Of course, is best to manage different demands when we are located in a situation where there is trust and safety. If you have the challenge of not being able to completely trust your partner, also the stress of being aware of everything, double checking facts, while protecting yourself can take a terrible toll on us. Being in this situation, each evening we have this complete body meltdown, where we only want to go to bed, close the metaphorical shop and don't have any other request or solicitation or decision to be made....Sometimes, complete denial is the only strategy left to go day by day...
Still, our challenges persist, and the more persistent are those coming from the structure of our deeper relationship: marriage. Precisely, marital fighting. Of course, we don't get married because we already know how to deal with people very different from us...we get married to learn exactly that! Is kind of on-the-job-learning....and nobody can escape. Or perhaps, yes, you can escape, but only temporarily and through the "skills" of denial or conflict avoidance, or passive aggression....Oh, and I forgot coercion also, the not so fine art of getting what you want by twisting the arm of other people, making them feel guilty or inappropriate or down!
Such power-over strategies are all potentially destructive to relationships and generate repetitive cycles of hurt, resentment, and alienation. Here is the core of the high rate of divorces: people give up in their marriages because using the wrong strategies to deal with inevitable conflicts, or selecting negative strategies like denying that both sides have emotional needs. Alienation happens when you decide there is nothing more you can expect in the understanding or appreciation department of your marriage, and discover how different from each other you two are...(which of course always were).
It's funny how we don't realize that the only way to learn how to deal with marital conflict is confronting it...Basically, bit the bullet and plow through the differences...with respect and patience. All the other methods are not cooperative and have a serious, progressive cost. Long term, the person besides you will feel put down, ignored, humiliated or disrespected, only because you never dared to ask: "what is going on with you, that you look unhappy? wanna talk?"
In the long term, and if nobody asks the basic questions, both have failed the task of learning how to grow up together by recognizing the differences, and accepting them, remember?
Most of us don't come into marriage with highly developed conflict-management skills, but these abilities can be cultivated through practice on the job. We all need to learn how to deal with each other with love and respect, and that is exactly one of the big points of marriage...the "learning in the job" aspect. What makes the difference between a successful marriage and one failed, is the willingness to be open with each other and face the pain of revealing inner disappointments and hurts caused by life in common, and by our failed expectations.
Want to learn how to relate with your partner better?
Simple, but deep attitudes are needed:
- display a willingness to be open to learn from one another,
- take responsibility for the consequences of our actions,
- learn how to do repair of relationships by asking for forgiveness
- and remember to use those great lessons at the next confrontation time.
Perhaps do you feel like learning some conflict skills? Be a champion of managing conflicts with grace and respect...You can always get the techniques of Fair fighting here, as a Kindle book.