Part 3 ~ Conflict Resolution in Marriage
Our marriage, at one point, suffered from a lack of effective communication. That created difficulties in resolving conflict. Now that we’re on the other side of the fence we share our experience with others so they know that they too can overcome their struggles and ignite the fire in their marriage. From the DVD: ‘A Love that lasts’ (mentioned in part 1 of this article) Dr. Howard Hendricks (Love’s Lasting Call) shares: “Three basics of a marriage:
1) Communication - as long as you can talk, you can solve your problems but when you stop talking (which is the route I chose) you’re in deep trouble;
2) Commitment – not only commitment to each other but also to the marriage, for this is a privilege in life and you need to take advantage of it, not just personally but together as a couple; and
3) Conflict Resolution –you need a plan for handling your conflict. Walking away from it isn’t going to solve it, so you need to find out ‘what do we do when we disagree’.”*
Proverbs 25:9 states: “Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself…” If the communication within the marriage is non-existent or ineffective, then it will be difficult to resolve conflict. Unresolved issues can then mount up and become a mountain of problems. Therefore, it could be said that there are no big issues to resolve, just little problems that were never dealt with which became one pile of rubbish, in need of a skip. Why does this happen? Majority of our generation of parents were brought up in homes where things weren’t dealt with. They were ‘swept under the carpet’. They’ve never seen healthy discussions which results in resolution and so they believe that something is seriously wrong with their relationship when they have conflict to resolve. They are therefore ill-prepared to handle conflict in a healthy way and will often choose to ignore the problem rather than try to work it out. It is a revolving cycle that is being handed down to the next generation. Our belief is that if you are committed to:
- Each other; and
- The marriage;
Then with a little help, effective communication can be restored and conflict resolution will be possible.
There are many couples who are going through a particular struggle and will come to the conclusion that they are no longer in love with each other. We don’t believe that people just ‘fall out of love’. What we believe is that unresolved issues in the life of one or both people can become a stumbling block in the marriage. Sometimes, it is a wound from childhood that was never healed or it could be based on a trauma of one individual in the marriage. Unfortunately, not many people are able to detect this problem until it is too late. Therefore, we have decided to ask a few questions that may trigger a discussion in your marriage and open the door to discussing other issues that may be affecting your marriage. Be aware! It may take a long period to get to resolution. It is not an overnight process. You may be embarking on a journey, similar to ours which took a decade for us to fully grasp what was taking place. Once you are committed to God, you will want to see His will manifested in your life. Therefore, you will have a desire to renew that commitment with your partner and to go the distance no matter how long it takes to get back on track.
For each question asked we have recommended a book from our collection. Please feel free to share other resources with us either by sending a private message or by clicking on ‘leave comment’ at the top of this page and it will be stored below this article.
1. Are you dealing with financial struggles in your marriage?
Here are two of our recommendations:
‘The Sixty Minute debt Buster’ by Katie Clarke with Rob Parsons
‘Finding the BALANCE, Facing up to Financial Crisis’ by Keith Tondeur
2. Are you dealing with bereavement in your marriage?
‘Until Death Do Us Part’ by Lilieth Wade may bring you some comfort.
3. Are you currently separated and thinking of having a divorce?
We recommend: ‘The Love Dare’ by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
4. Do you have a passion for helping married couples overcome their struggles?
‘Mentoring Marriages’ by Harry Benson is a great one to start your journey. He shows you how to use the ups and downs of married life to support other couples.
We would like to encourage you, at this point, to do something special for your loved one today. Make the choice to love. If your wife or husband has hurt you and you are still upset, make the choice to be the peacemaker. We have a choice to make each day. Choose to love regardless of your circumstances. God is love and love conquerors all. When we chose to love our partners (which is a daily choice we have to make as we become more Christ-like) God is being revealed in and through us. We cannot do it on our own. In our will we will fail. “The arm of flesh will fail you” but God never changes. The love of God inside us will give us the courage to move forward in love. There are some situations that will not change, based on our circumstances but God love gives us the strength to endure. His grace is sufficient for us and He will not give us more than we can bear. He wants us to have an abundant life. Therefore, having given our lives to Christ we should experience this in our marriage also.
Copyright 2013, Vince & Janice Ramkissoon.
*Notes__Source: Loves Lasting Call (Dr. Howard and Jeanne Hendricks).
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