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How Do You Handle Relationship and Marital Conflict?

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When you are faced with differences of opinion, friction or disagreements, how do you handle yourself? What type of person do you become? Do you invoke the silent treatment or morph into the crock pot mentality? Does your demeanor put a harmful rift between you and your mate?

Take a deep breath and brace yourself as we examine the various methods and tactics men and women use to handle conflicts. This crucial straight talk will empower you to have a more robust, vibrant and healthy union.

by Gillis Triplett

Every Couple Has Disputes… So What’s Next?
Any seasoned couple will tell you, “When it comes to love; friction and conflicts are inevitable. There’s no way around it. The ten million-dollar question is, “How do you handle relationship and marital conflict?” Before answering that question, carefully examine some of the more common ways men and women deal with challenges.

The History Buff:
No pun intended, but these men and women missed their calling! They are more suited working as agents in the parole revocation department. At a moments notice, they are able to recall with sobering exactness, every mistake, fault or misstep made by their loved ones. They can recite the precise time of incidents dating back 10 years or more.

When a disagreement arises, the history buff resorts to delivering an itemized detail list of a person’s past mistakes and wrongdoings. They’ll tell you what you were wearing, how you said and did what you said and did and most importantly, how you negatively impacted them.

Solution: they must learn the rarely used formula practiced by all healthy couples. Although simple, it will positively change the temperature of any union: forgive, forget, finalize and love will flourish!

The Cursing Kings and Queens:
Once they sense a conflict arising, they reduce themselves to hurling insults, berating others and firing off a barrage of offensive language and highly volatile curse words. Although their mouths resemble overflowing septic tanks, they have deceived themselves into believing that cursing at others gives them the ultimate in power and control. They masterfully use abusive words and disrespectful vocabulary as weapons to: warn, paralyze and intimidate others.

In their sorted minds, offensive language is the most effective method to communicate their displeasure or disagreement. The cursing kings and queens have a knack for alienating themselves from loved ones and creating unnecessary tension and hostilities. Browbeating, dispiriting and terrifying their mates are a way of life. Although this penal system mentality of communicating has proven disastrous, these cursing bandits are adamant about sticking to their guns.

Solution: they must cease from being hostile out of control loose cannons.

The Master Manipulators:
With these individuals, getting their way is of prime importance. They are going to have their way even if it forces them to swear to their own hurt. Consequently, in order to gain the upper hand, they employ shrewd manipulative tactics such as: put downs, sarcasms, lording over the finances and withholding of intimacy and sex. This diabolical crew wantonly engages in emotional torture, verbal bashing, cruel mind games and other ill-conceived tactics designed to force, coerce, ridicule or pummel their spouse into agreement or submission.

Solution: they must go through a complete character cleansing.

The Silent Treatment Warriors:
These people take the old saying, “Silence is golden,” to the ninth degree. Once disagreement or friction arises, they invoke the oppressive silent treatment. If their spouse attempts to restore relations by initiating the healing process, they will be met with glaring stares, menacing grunts and other hostile type standoffs and stalemates.

Apparently, knowing they are torturing their mates and making both their lives miserable means absolutely nothing to these silent warriors. They have no compunction about carrying on in this bewildering manner of silence for days and even weeks or months at a time. Agonizingly, they fail or refuse to see how alienating themselves from their loved ones does not endear harmony, but rather invites prolonged discord.

Solution: they must cease from being relationship warmongers and commit to being peacemakers.

The Bulldozer Mentality:
With these men and women, it’s simple; they are going to force their opinions or beliefs on their loved ones; whether they like it or agree with it or not. In their minds, if someone disagrees with them, THAT PERSON has a critical problem! Their belief is, “I am right and you are wrong,” end of story! With this posse, there is no negotiation or debate concerning his or her position. They refuse to see things in any other light if that perspective does not conclude with them being right.

Solution: they must admit the irrefutable fact that they are being ornery, cantankerous and abusive and then change their ways.

The Pressure Cookers:
They look normal on the outside, but on the inside, there is an explosion of epic proportions about to erupt! As the pressure from their hostility, unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness heats up, these men and women become severely volatile. From that point on, it’s usually an all out war teeming with insults, harsh words and callous attacks. For the pressure cooker types, escalating to the various forms of abuse and domestic violence is part of their (MO) Modus Operandi.

Solution: first, they must recognize and admit the fact that they have relinquished control of their emotions and get on the road to recovery. Secondly, they must learn how to resolve issues diplomatically.

The Microwave Mentality:
At the touch of a button these people heat up within nano-seconds! They enjoy going off on others and they pride themselves in berating, belittling and scalding loved ones with their jagged tongues. Men and women who observe these primitive creatures in action can only shake their heads in startled disbelief. The glaringly obvious truth is, no sane person should enter into a relationship or marriage with the microwave mentality type; they are simply too volatile and too explosive.

Solution: they must purge themselves of their caustic combative spirits.

The Eye For An Eye Mentality:
Once they feel slighted, ignored, mistreated or wronged, whether imagined or real, be warned! They are going to get revenge even if it means, hurting or harming the man or woman in the mirror. For example, I had a couple in which the wife believed her husband was having an affair. He may have been, but instead of confirming her suspicions; she retaliated by having an affair of her own.

Their mantras are: “Two can play that game! You do it to me and I’ll do it to you! And, Love is a battlefield!” Of course, we all know the turbulent paths their relationships and marriages will travel down.

Solution: they must cease from being childish, irrational and immature.

The Shoot First; Ask Questions Later Mentality:
Once they are involved in a disagreement or dispute, they shoot first and ask questions later; if they ask questions at all. The facts, mitigating circumstances and their mate’s opinions and feelings are almost always moot and irrelevant. Distressingly, these men and women have long track records of: hurting feelings, inflicting injury, driving away loved ones, ruining relationships and mauling marriages.

Solution: they must learn how to listen and stop making rash decisions and skewed judgment calls. They must discipline themselves to be caring, understanding and objective.

The Crock Pot Mentality:
Instead of addressing issues they feel are bothering them, they intentionally brood over things over an extended period of time. As the clock ticks away, they are progressively forming unforgiveness, rage, bitterness, resentment and anger. Then on one gloomy day of their choosing, they just detonate and explode! At that point their mates will suffer through unimaginable: anger unmanagement, retaliation, unprovoked fights and sadly, undeserved separations and divorces.

Solution: they must choose not to harbor ill feelings and learn how to control and discipline their spirit.

The Blame Game Mentality:
They are wrong and they know it! But their deeply entrenched pride and massive egos won’t allow them to admit it. Do to their unimaginable refusal to confess when they are at fault, their only logical option is to blame any and everyone else and they do that very well! So well, that their irreprehensible conduct has produced innumerable wounds and prematurely terminated countless relationships and marriages.

Solution: they must come to grips with the person in the mirror and start accepting responsibility for their actions.

The Truth Will Make You Free!
Did you find yourself in any of these descriptions? If so, are you willing to change your behaviors? If not, you can pretty much expect your love life to be filled with perpetual disappointments, emotional turmoil and gut wrenching heartbreaks. The bad news is, when two people are in love; disputes, differences of opinion and disagreements will occur.

The good news is; a couple doesn’t have to end it all by launching a catastrophic relationship war or by engaging in malicious marital combat. However, when either or both parties resort to using any of the aforementioned tactics, regrettably the casualties of love will mount.

Healthy unions that stand the test of time require a man and woman who subscribe to being lobbyists for love, effective communicators and committed peacemakers. For it is written, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”

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