A Healthy Look at Conflict 

When you and your spouse get into a conflict, how do you normally respond? Do you fight it out until the end, or do you shrink into your shell and clam up until the storm blows over? Do you wish you were somewhere else, or wish you could slink under the rug? 

A good way of looking at it is seeing our response to conflict like animals: when Joy and I get into a misunderstanding, she tends to go into turtle-like retreat, walking out of me from the dining table and tossing herself onto her bed, pulling the covers and pillow over her head and pretend she’s sleeping. I, on the other hand, am the shark, charge right in after her, demanding to talk right here right now and settle this once and for all! 

(If you want to know more, we talk about this in our book, Can’t We Just Get Along?! which is available on Amazon.) 

But do you know there is a healthy way to look at conflict? 

When our contradicting opinions come head-on against each other, we’re forced to pause and try to see things from each other’s perspective.
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5 Benefits of Embracing Conflict

In this post, we share at least 5 benefits that conflict can bring to our lives as a married couple, so that we learn to embrace and face it instead of retreating from it: 

1. It helps you see areas to grow in.

Usually, conflict happens when our weak areas are exposed. This means that conflict helps us identify them and find ways to improve in those areas. For example, if our weak points involve our communication and our spouse points out how they were hurt by our words, that highlights something that we need to pay closer attention to. 

2. It challenges you to understand each other’s perspective.

One common cause of conflict is our different worldviews, brought about by our different upbringing and experiences. When our contradicting opinions come head-on against each other, we’re forced to pause and try to see things from each other’s perspective. This helps breed respect and honour between you and your spouse.

3. It gives you a problem to solve together.

I always say that I love having a problem to solve because it makes me come alive. Of course, conflict with Joy is always uncomfortable, but knowing that we’re in it together helps us to see that when conflict comes along, it’s something that we can work on together and grow closer in the process. 

4. It gives you the chance to express your love and acceptance to each other.

Another advantage of conflict is that it gives you the chance to express your love for each other, even in the midst of misunderstanding. Sometimes you may not even reach any agreement, but you can agree to disagree, and still accept each other nonetheless. 

Other times, one or both of you may have hurt the other, and you practice apologising and forgiving each other. It teaches us to humble ourselves when we’ve wronged the other, and to give allowances for the offending partner, too. 

5. It helps you grow as individuals, too.

Not only does conflict help you grow in your marriage, it also helps you improve as a person. For example, when you notice a pattern of how you have hurt your spouse with your words or actions, it’s possible that the same pattern happens, perhaps in a different measure, in your other relationships. 

But the marriage relationship is the safest relationship you have, and your spouse is the one that feels most intimate with you to point that out. This means that any improvement you make as a result of conflict with your spouse is actually a step in the right direction for your self-development! Double win! 

Developing a Healthy View of Conflict 

When you see conflict in this healthy way, you tend to be more willing to accept it as a normal course of life and find ways to deal with it and move on. We encourage you to keep growing in your communication skills, beginning with your spouse, so that you can also have rich and deep relationships throughout your life!

To learn more about resolving conflict with your spouse, check out our e-book, Can’t We Just Get Along?! 

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