6 Tips to Navigate Marital Conflict

Conflict in a marriage can be hard to navigate, especially when we are surrounded with messages about happy every after and marital eternal bliss as the expectation once you say “I do”. But marriage, or any long-term relationship, conflict is inevitable. According to John Gottman, a lead researcher in marital relations, the success of a marriage is tied to a couple’s ability to manage conflict in a healthy way, not the absence of conflict. Gottman suggests some tips for couples to help them resolve marital conflict including:

  1. Physiological self-soothing: taking a time out during times of heated conflict.
  2. Softened Startup: Using I statements and avoiding blaming language.
  3. Repair and de-escalate: be willing to start over when in a calmer space and have a redo of the conversation. Apologize for mistakes or missteps
  4. Listen to your partner’s underlying feelings and dreams: often in conflict, our partners have a deeper need they are not communicating. Try to imagine what this may be and work towards comprise in order to meet one another’s needs.
  5. Accept influence: hard as it may be accept that your partner may have valid points and insights about you or ideas of how to improve the situation.
  6. Compromise: Find common ground between the two of you, even if it means letting of part of what you want.
Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/conflict-is-a-normal-and-natural-part-of-your-happily_us_583a019ee4b0a79f7433b6fb

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