We've settled in to our new home, and I'm back up and running with posts!
Did you know that the number one predictor of divorce is habitually avoiding conflict?
When we first get married, we often are still in the passionate/infatuation love stage. Later on--whether it be months or years--we find out that we don't always see eye-to-eye with our partner. What we forget is that THIS IS NORMAL! In fact, the happiest married couples often have at least ten areas of "disagreement" or incompatibility. They are successful in their marriage, because somewhere along the way they have been able to communicate openly about touchy or disagreeable topics, and they have been able to decide to disagree. That, and they also choose to not let these disagreements leech into other aspects of their relationship. To me, this means especially not the intimate and romantic side of the relationship.
As an aside...did you know if you did get divorced, in your "newer" relationship ten more areas of incompatibility/disagreement will crop up there too. Now add children from a previous marriage in to the mix...might their upbringing be one of those ten areas of disagreement in the new marriage? In ANY RELATIONSHIP, we are going to have areas where there is incompatibility or disagreement. Success in ANY relationship then means with our partner we learn skills/ways in which we can respect the difference in opinion, and choose to love and carry on in the relationship any way. Novel idea?
One of the most cited and proven ways to confront conflict is on neutral ground. This could mean a couple of different things. For example:
(1) As an issue arises, choosing a point in the near future to discuss ____.
How you would set this up goes something like this, "Honey, on Saturday after we've both fit our workouts in, and we've eaten lunch as a family, while Junior is playing ball outside, can we sit on the back steps and talk about ____?"
Here--you identify there is a problem that needs to be discussed, and you are choosing to discuss it when you're stress levels are low (i.e. you've worked out, you're fed, and your child is occupied), and you can address the situation more rationally than emotionally.
(2) Setting a regular time to discuss personal, family, financial, job, etc. matters.
How this would be set up is by setting a set day and time to discuss potential conflicts. For example, every second Friday, or every Sunday, or the first day of the month, or the third weekend of the month, or two days before payday....etc. The point here is to have a set time and place where you both know in advance you can bring up any topics.
Both of these examples allow partners to come to the table open-handed and hopefully, open-minded. After all--the best way to keep your marriage or relationship healthy is to address issues before they become problems, fights, or major issues.
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