Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

Let’s talk about conflict and conflict resolution today. I think it’s pretty hilarious when people think Garth and I don’t fight. We definitely have our knock out drag out fights with the best of them. And you know what? It’s normal. In fact, it’s healthy.

First it can be defined as war, military warfare between opposing forces, especially a prolonged and bitter but sporadic struggle or you can view it as having two different views that need to be understood, a disagreement or clash between ideas, principles, or people

The way you handle conflict, based on your perceived definition of it, will determine the outcome.  Either you fight to the death, or you grow deeper in your understanding of one another

When two people live that closely together there are bound to be a few hiccups. We fight about the dumbest things. Like what’s for dinner. Or who has to do the laundry. Or when the grass is going to be mowed. Or what the plans are for the weekend. That is probably the biggest one. I love to be busy and have plans and to-do lists to knock out on the weekend and Garth loves to just do nothing and relax.

Basically, the stuff that doesn’t matter is what we fight about. But that’s good because the big stuff, our religion, morals, values, etc are all the same. But the small stuff can blow up to big stuff in the heat of the moment. Case in point, I want Chinese for dinner and nothing else will do!!! First world problem, I know.

I digress. All of that to say conflict is healthy IF it is handled in an appropriate way. The point of conflict should not be to win. This is how Garth used to fight with me when we were dating. It was not a great way to communicate because eventually he would wear me down and I would apologize (or lose) the argument and Garth would be happy he won and I would be miserable because nothing was really resolved.

Secondly, seek first to understand before being understood. Usually once you see the other person’s perspective you realize the misunderstanding or you are able to get to the root of the issue and work from there.

Sometimes it is best to take a break and cool off if you are really upset. You don’t want to say anything you will regret. And as my pastor says, never argue when you are hungry or tired. Garth and I do get cranky when we are hungry, but we do have the rule that we don’t go to bed angry. There have been some long nights, but I don’t think you should let it lie for too long. And how can I sleep if we’re fighting anyways?

I think the best thing to remember is conflict means you are close. You know what bugs each other. It means you are communicating. It means you are comfortable enough with each other to dig deep and talk things out and realize you are not the same person. You will have different opinions and the better you get at conflict resolution the stronger your relationship will be.

Do you agree? Do you have any tips or tricks on conflict resolution? 

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I can't sleep if we're arguing either. And I've learned to choose my battles. I know I'm not easy to live with, he just doesn't voice it as much as I do. I really need to be better about the petty stuff. I love these wedding wednesday posts. :)