So now it’s time to have a moment of breakthrough so that the two of you can start pulling in the same direction. As I’m sure you’ve come to understand, if the two of you are just going to keep on butting heads forever, this isn’t going to work!
As we begin to dive into marriage conflict resolution skills, the first question I have for you is the following. For you, is it more important to be loved, or more important to be right? This is serious question that you need to ask yourself, and your partner needs to ask themselves the same thing. One of the most common phenomenons I have witnessed throughout all of these years of one on one coaching is that people who are hell-bent on being right all the time tend to push their significant others away, and they tend to wind up with terrible regrets. It is only after the relationship has ended that they begin to realize that they valued their own ego and pride over the wellbeing of their partner, and they were not open to hearing their partner’s side. And I can tell you right now that if your partner does not feel heard, a disconnect will begin to form in the relationship.
Unity within the relationship is more important than being right all the time. The important thing here is to create an environment in which both people feel safe to express themselves because they know that they will be heard, and both people need to be receptive to what the other is saying. Without this, you will not be able to connect and work as a team, and the marriage will suffer. I cannot stress the importance of a nurturing environment enough when you are trying to avoid conflict in marriage. When you’re stubborn, this is a bit harder, but if you can bring your awareness to it, you’ll be able to notice when it’s happening. When you notice it’s happening, you can consciously decide to be open to what your partner is saying to you and in turn, you will be leading by example. This way, your partner will see how you’re operating and will be more inclined to do the same. Of course, this isn’t something that will be fixed overnight, but again, just make sure that you repeat this type of behavior. This is how it will turn into a natural habit.
This all boils down to communication techniques. I see so many clients focusing on winning an argument instead of actually trying to communicate. These are two vastly different things! Instead of trying to listen to their partner to understand where he or she is coming from, they’re just waiting for the opportunity to interject their own point of view. As you can imagine, this can turn into a very destructive pattern. It’s all about building happiness together, and that should be the goal – regardless of who is more stubborn!