The Number One Reason Marriages Fail

By

The Number One Reason Marriages Fail
It's not how great you get along...there is another glaringly obvious reason marriages fail.

I’ve been counseling couples in marriages for almost eight years. I am always amazed at the pain involved in relationships. Mostly, I never fail to be fascinated in every single case with the resilience that God gives us concerning a marriage union. When I look at all the reasons the marriage union dissolves, what seems to be the common denominator is how well couples do (or don’t) handle conflict.


It is not how well individuals get along, not how much fun they have together that will make or break them. It is that terrible word that many fear as much as speaking in public, conflict. While couples are in the giddy stage of being so in love they often remark, “We just get along so well together and we have so much fun together.” Little do they know that lurking ahead may be a huge detour sign that will throw them off the road into the ditch of frustration.


An actual study by the University of Denver several years back reflects this opinion. Research done with couples reveals that how well couples handle conflict is a 90% indicator of whether or not they will stay together. Given this fact, it is really sad that couples are not more prepared to communicate through conflict in a healthy manner.
Most of us learned how to handle conflict from our family of origin.

This is actually the worst place we could learn about navigating times of disagreement. For some families, conflict is simply not allowed. I call these homes, “cheerleader homes.” In these atmospheres everyone is required to put a smile on their face, buck up, and be happy. No negative emotions or discussion about anything upsetting is allowed. “Why, they never even had a fight!” is a common comment I hear from people surprised at the news of a divorce of someone they know.


We also have the opposite example of conflict resolution in families of origin. In some cases, kitchen plates flew through the air, caustic and loud expletives were thrown back and forth while children ran for safety. Growing up in these homes, people learn fast that conflict is terrible and dangerous. Therefore, they want nothing to do with it at all, ever again.


There are a few percentages of healthy homes where children learn that conflict is actually a way to resolve problems. People growing up in this atmosphere do not fear or avoid conflict. They are able to navigate the waters without shutting down and walking off or manipulating the outcome by having a louder voice.


Every marriage should have a basic understanding of managing conflict in a healthy manner. Hearts can stay in tune with each other instead of partners becoming enemies on opposite sides of the fence. Here are some tips to help couples understand conflict in their marriage.


1). Reframe your definition of the word conflict. Think of conflict as problem resolution that can bring positive outcomes for both parties. Do not think of conflict in terms of being bad or as a battle you must win.


2). I teach couples to have the attitude: “I care about me. I care about you.” Even going into a conflicting situation helps if you have the right mindset. As much as possible, problem resolution should be a win-win outcome for all.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Trudy Johnson

Author

Trudy M. Johnson, M.A., LMFT, CSPII

Helping women process grief after voluntary pregnancy termination without fear.

Bringing abortion after-care into the 21st century by educating professionals.

www.missingpieces.org

Location: Buena Vista, CO
Credentials: LMFT, MA, Non-Profit
Specialties: Abortion Issues
Other Articles/News by Trudy Johnson:

"I Had No Clue I'd Be This Sad," Part 2

By

Last week I talked with a 20-something woman about the grief she was feeling after her voluntary pregnancy termination. In her quest to find relief for her situation, she never dreamed she would be struck with an overwhelming sadness that she couldn't shake. Only a little less shocking than the news of the pregnancy (she was on birth control pills) was ... Read more

"I Had No Clue I'd Be This Sad"

By

The voice on the other end of the line was hesitant. I could tell this was a woman who wasn't sure she could trust her own instincts, much less trust me. I tried to re-assure her that I am a safe person to talk with about unexpected grief after voluntarily terminating a pregnancy. As we talked, I realized how many times I'd heard this ... Read more

Had An Abortion? 4 Tips For Surviving Mother’s Day

By

For women who once made the decision to terminate a pregnancy, Mother's Day can be an emotional and difficult day. Particularly, if you never told those closest to you about your abortion. In such cases, you may feel like you have no one to talk to about your sadness because you are afraid of condemnation. Despite the fact that an abortion can weigh ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular