Archive for 'Conflict Management'

What is gridlock? It is when you and your spouse encounter a conflict which you just can’t seem to resolve.

You are both completely set in your viewpoints, and the same argument seems to come up again and again with neither of you ever budging.

These discussions are hurtful and distressing for both of you, and you each may feel that the other is disrespecting or not listening to your point of view.

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“Why can’t you just be happy?!”
“How can you be feeling angry about that?!”
“You’re so sad all the time”.

When you are experiencing problems in your marriage, you and your spouse are likely to be feeling a lot of different emotions. And the thing is, we can’t help but be affected by how our loved ones are feeling.

Emotions are powerful – and hearing from our spouse that they are ‘not happy’ can make our stomachs churn with dread.

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A few weeks ago, we received an email from Claire, a freelance consultant from Ohio, who told us that her marriage was in bad shape. She says:

Last month, my husband and I had a huge meltdown in the car while we were on an out-of-town trip. Apparently, he’s been harboring a lot of resentment towards me and the minor argument we had during that time sparked his outburst. It was just horrible; our kids were with us with when it happened.

When we got back home, my husband continued expressing the frustration that’s been simmering within him for the past few years. He said that I was constantly absent in our marriage and that I wasn’t attentive to his needs.

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In my last post The Key to a Happy Marriage, we talked about how Dylan and Sarah’s clashing opinions couldn’t be remedied by simply saying yes all the time.  Instead, they reached a compromise by introducing the willingness to be influenced in a relationship.

While a lot of couples may have different positions on an issue, it doesn’t mean they can’t meet halfway.  Taking the initiative to show this willingness sets the right tone and helps you be a good example to your spouse.

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