When conflict happens, the first and most important step to keep in mind is this: put everything on pause–until you are able to talk about it in a healthy manner.
We all know the experience of trying to talk things out in the heat of the moment–it only makes matters worse! You have been there. I have been there. It doesn’t work.
So what then?
When conflict happens: don’t force it if emotions are high!
We all have our reasons why we think we should talk things out NOW! Rarely is it a good idea. Don’t force it. Refuse to give in to your self talk such as:
- “I have to say what is on my mind before I forget it!”
- “If we don’t deal with the issue right now, it will never be dealt with.”
- “These are my feelings and I have a right to share them.”
- “What else am I supposed to do if we don’t talk about it?”
- “Shouldn’t I be honest?”
When conflict happens: put everything on pause until you are able to talk about the issue in a healthy manner.
Both parties must agree to do the following:
- Dial down. Take time away from each other to let your emotions cool off. Very few of us have the maturity and self-discipline to think clearly when we are full of negative emotions. Pausing gives us the opportunity to gain perspective while keeping us from saying or doing things that only make matters worse. For the sake of both parties, agree to come back together at a later time to talk again.
- Shift your focus. The truth is–we all tend to be far more focused on our selves than we are on each other. I am guilty of the same. Perhaps no where is this more apparent than when you are in a conflict. You are right and your spouse is wrong. That’s all that is to it! Right? WRONG! The reality is no doubt you both have things to learn. Before coming together to talk again, there has to be a shift in focus– from thinking first about yourself, to thinking first and foremost about your spouse and his/her concerns.
- Determine to love. You won’t be able to make the shift I just talked about unless you determine that above everything else–including getting your spouse to see things your way–your aim is to love your spouse. SO…when you talk, love means you will seek first to listen, understand, and validate the other’s perspective. You will re-commit to doing what is best for your spouse and your relationship rather than what is best for yourself.
Learn more by watching our video!
Steven Covey once said we must develop the habit to pause in order to give a wiser response. CLICK HEAR to learn more and read a beautiful example!
SO…the next time when conflict happens, you will find yourself well on the way to a successful outcome if you first put everything on pause!
Here are two assignments:
1. Practice all the above this week, then get back here and leave a reply below or email me: Mark@madlyinlove.org with one thing you learned from doing so!
2. If you found this helpful, share it with your friends. We are seeking to grow a community of couples who want to experience all they can in marriage and teach their children one day how to do the same!