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QUESTION OF THE MONTH
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QUESTION OF THE MONTH

Hi guys!  Something new I thought I'd try out is a QUESTION OF THE MONTH.   We have so many awesome members here who have much to say and many who look to the forum for advice on their relationship.  So, I   thought I'd throw out a general question for people's thoughts/comments.  

Here is the QUESTION OF THE MONTH:

SUBJECT:  CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.  So, how do you find it is best to resolve conflicts with your partner?  There are lots of ways and no wrong answers.  Some might ignore something little to keep the peace and others may discuss it.  Some may yell to get their point across because that works or stay quiet.  I know that some may think that there are pat answers that are correct like 'talk it out' but frankly, it takes trial and error between partners and there are different ways to resolve things.  

give us examples of good ways and bad ways you've tried!!!!  I'm interested in responses because like any couple, my husband and I have our differences and conflicts arise.  

Thanks!
29 Comments Post a Comment
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480448_tn?1403547723
Ah.....million dollar question!!!  It's a good one.

I truly think communication (CALM communication) is THE key to conflict resolution, and a close second is active listening.  If each partner is waiting to get THEIR say in, not listening to what the other is saying, the points are being missed.  Sometimes, it's not about being "right".  If a person can put aside their desire to be RIGHT, and win an argument, then progress can be made.  If BOTH can do that, then there are real hopes at resolving the conflict.

The other thing I would say is important is acknowledgement of how the other person feels, verification of their feelings, even if you don't agree.  An OLD therapy approach (learned this in psych nursing rotation) is to repeat back what someone has said.  So, if you and hubby are fighting over chore distribution, for example, it may be helpful to repeat back what your partner has said...."so, you feel angry and frustrated when you come home after a long day at work, and the same dishes from breakfast are in the sink?"  (LOL....of COURSE this is not an example from my own life...ha ha).  You're verifying what they said and showing you are listening.  Important sidenote....it is NOT productive to then follow up that kind of statement with such remarks like..."well are YOUR hands broken?"  ;0)

I think if you can incorporate the above issues into conflict resolution, real progress can be made, which will carry over into other situations in the relationship.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
It depends on the "conflict" as every problem doesn't need to be "talked out" nor is every problem a crisis.  

I pick and choose what I consider "conflict" carefully.  

I really don't have a "blanket" solution for conflict.  
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973741_tn?1342346373
No, there is no blanket solution.  I have been in the camp of staying quiet.  Deadly quiet before.  When this happens----  and it isn't so intentional as one might think . . . I am just super mad and afraid of what I'm going to say so speak through my silence. . .  it freaks my husband out.  This is when he usually starts talking a mile a minute.  Very often this works much better than running my mouth in my agitation causing him to become defensive and shut down.  

In fact, that is an effective communication tool overall.  You'd be amazed by staying silent how other people become uncomfortable and start talking.  good business tip by the way.  Try it!  

So often we want to speak our minds that we don't take the time to listen to the other.  Really hear them and FEEL what they are saying.  We are already formulating what we want to say while they are talking.  Human nature to do this but this is when fights drag out in my opinion OR never get a full resolution.  

I like the idea nursegirl of give verification by repeating what you are hearing from your partner.  "so if I'm hearing ou correctly, you feel . . .".  This also makes the other person feel heard which is important to conflict resolution in my opinion.

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3149845_tn?1386354841
Since the wife is 99% correct when it comes to conflicts, ive learned the hard way to just shut up and listen. Most of the 99% are not worth conflicting about so i just wait for my 1%, which more often than not,  a really big issue where just a few choice reasonings makes resolution.

Dont get me wrong, i do value my thoughts and perspectives, but when its all said an done, to make the wifes life complete is the vow i took from day one.
To give of oneself in this life makes letting go much easier when the big day comes.

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Ha, that is funny Life.  Happy wife, happy life?  

Actually you bring up an excellent point.  As Londres says she does, we all must pick our battles.  We could fight about every little thing or demand that things be OUR way . . .   but that is often so unnecessary if we don't really care that much about it.  Then when we DO really care, we have more credibility to ask for it.  
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By the way life, I think many a partner wished that their signficant other had your philosophy!
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3149845_tn?1386354841
School of hard knocks and realizm. I used to fight for my opinion but it dawned on me one day what does it really matter. A tear from the wife is more heart breaking than a torrent of my opinions. Love is caring and it dosent really matter if the partner knows im doing it out of love or not.
I realized that other people were put here to add excitment to my life and i would rather be in a cave of growling bears than alone on an island gazing up into no where waiting for an answer from someone. God please send someone!!!!!!!!! Im really getting tired of answering my own questions!!!!!!!!
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580755_tn?1357673215
It is best when calm communication is happening. Sometimes I want to talk about it right away and sometimes my wife will too. Other times she needs some time and after is able to talk calmly.

When it is calm communication both people can listen and make their point and I think things really work best that way.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Agree that calmly talking is great.  Hard sometimes though, isn't it?  

Sometimes when I'm hot under the collar, I write to my husband either in email or note.  Helps me get the exact words i want to say.  I'm very very careful not to put anything in the email or note that could be used against me for the rest of my life . . . you know how the written word lives on.  But I'm able to express some feelings in a way that he can read a few times and internalize.  
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I also think communication is somehow linked to the respect level that each have for one another. Keeping in mind that respect is something earned.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, some really great ideas here - sounds like Everyone pretty much has learned what works for Their Pesonal situation.

My Husband and I are fortunate that We don't have "conflicts" to conflict over.

We began Our Marriage after 7 years of Deep, Meaningful FriendShip and during that time, came to know One Another from the inside out.  By the time We Married, We were 38 years old. When We began our Marriage, the Children (mine), were already raised, (He never had Children).  Finances are not an issue, and I can't think of any other difficulty.  I don't have much to offer here, I'm So Very Glad To Say!!

We Are Truely Living the Golden Years.  


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480448_tn?1403547723
You NEVER have any conflicts??  Really?

I think you need to write to the Guiness Book of World Records!  ;0)

I mean, no spats over hubby's stinky feet?  Or a situation where someone acted a fool?  Nothing?

Man, I'm impressed!  YOU are the one we need to learn from sister!
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear NurseGirl, You gave me an early morning laugh.
In response:

No, we NEVER do!  Yes, Really!!

I'll tell You Our 'secret' -  When You've paid a heavy, heavy price in Your First Marriage, as in extreme anguish, extreme despair - You feel 'little' things don't matter and We've been fortunate enough not to have any 'big' things.  

P.S.
It probably helps that His feet aren't stinky
and
when one of Us acts a fool, it causes the Other to laugh, and laugh We do!!  Laughing is infectious.

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480448_tn?1403547723
LOL, well kudos to you...after a marriage full of turmoil and stress, you certainly deserve a peaceful.

I STILL maintain there's GOT to be something!!!!  Morning breath?  Fights over a casserole gone bad?  Him having to wear dirty socks because you didn't do the laundry?  

Oh wait, I'm talking about myself again.  ;0)

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3149845_tn?1386354841
Maybe some things are going on that you are not aware of!

My wife had a alopecia problem last year and had a prescription strengh hair grow product hanging on the bath tub rail. One night she asked me to wash her back with a moisturizer soap hanging on the bath tub rail.
And no i did not tell her about the mix up!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes better not to mention things to avoid a conflict.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Ha ha.  That's funny.  I would be a bit mad at my husband if he turned me into a werewolf on the back.  I'm not a fan of back fur.  

I do get that little things don't matter but whew . . .  humans can get agitated.  I'd be putting a lot of lids on the boiling pots until one blew if i didn't occasionally voice my concern.  

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Avatar_f_tn
I knew You guys wouldn't believe me.
Don't misunderstand - I'm not saying He's perfect, nor am I - But, truely, truely We don't fuss or argue or conflict over anything.  We don't "sweat the small stuff " and We don't have any "big stuff".

I must say though, I would probably be upset and have PLENTY to say if He grew hair on my back!!
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I believe you . . .  I'm just much more irritable than you I'm thinking. :>)
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Aww, SpecialMom.  You're not more irritable, but You ARE younger with a lot more on Your plate than I.  It will be different when You are my age and Your Children are grown and You have become a GrandMother and etc., etc.,etc.
It's called the "Golden Years" for a reason
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480448_tn?1403547723
omg.....lmao at the werewolf references!!!!!

Tink, God love you  guys...life without conflict must be nice.  Although I STILL think maybe there's a stinky man foot issue, or your coffee tastes like mud....lol.  (j/k)

Ha!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
NurseGirl,
You are so funny!!  Since You need to know 'something' - I will admit I have a pet peeve:

When He takes off His dirty socks He leaves them rolled up, so I have to unroll them before I launder them.  I ALWAYS think to myself:  "He's ALREADY handling His dirty socks when He remove thems, if He would unroll them at that time, then I wouldn't have to handle the dirty socks".

(Please don't tell Him I told You this as He doesn't know ,

and I don't know if He has an annoyance about me, therefore:

pet peeve + keep quiet about it = no conflict)
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480448_tn?1403547723
A-HA!!!!!  I KNEW it!  ;0)

I'M TELLING IM TELLING!!!!

Hey, if that's all you have got going on, you're in pretty good shape.

You could solve that issue without ever saying a word....wash them like that and put them back in his drawer still rolled up, half dirty, half clean, half wet, half dry.  ;0)
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They are starting to add up Tink, do you want to go back and edit your reply before we start digging more. Nurse is on to something here!!
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Avatar_f_tn
OMGolly, NurseGirl,
I Love Your Solution!!  At first I thought, "I'm going to try this"
and then it occurred to me.......

if it works, I wouldn't even have a "pet peeve".  If  We don't have conflict even over pet peeves, do You think I should hold onto the pet peeve so we can appear 'somewhat' average?
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LOL!!!!
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3149845_tn?1386354841
When the wife and i are home after work, sitting out back and shes talking about work, ive learned the hard way not to ask questions but to just listen.

Listening can be a great way to avoid conflicts!!!!!!!!!!!
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13167_tn?1327197724
Interesting topic,  interesting posts.

The biggest topic of conflict my husband of 27 years and I have is still the kids.  They're not big fights,  but there is a real undercurrent that each of us strongly believe we are the one approaching a situation correctly.  I guess that's pretty typical - moms are softer,  dads want kids to equipped to make their way in the world independently.  Especially boys - and we have 3 sons,  no daughters.  It's not like we're in completely different corners,  or wildly apart,  but that's pretty much the only source of friction in our marriage.  And our kids are fine,  basically,  but when they're struggling we have conflict.

I'm kind of with Tink - we really don't have conflict.  I really don't care that my husband drops his dirty clothes in FRONT of the hamper instead of in it (I mean it,  I really don't care).    I think he would forget our anniversaries or not celebrate them,  or valentines day,  if I didn't say a week ahead here's what I'd love to do on our anniversary - let's take a picnic dinner to the park and watch the bats come out.  

I think that's key.  Predict when you might be hurt or upset,  and stave it off.  I see so many young couples trying to set each other up to fail - women laying in wait to trap their partner after he forgets something important to her but unwilling to remind him ahead of time because he "should" have done something differently.

My sister in law wanted to go to her favorite cousin's wedding,  and her husband told her the flight was expensive so could she try to shop for a deal or drive (it was only a 5 hour car trip) so she decided not to go.  Really,  she decided not to go so she could plan to be made and take revenge is what it was.  She gave up the pleasure of going to the wedding so she could have something to pound him with.  They're divorced.

When people say marriage is a LOT of work,  I disagree.  I think a great marriage is a good attitude to be loving,  and also years of experience with each other so you know where the vulnerable spots in your partner are and you can avoid them.  

We also have a strategy of choosing things.  One of us picks three viable choices,  and the other picks one out of those.  Like,  if we are choosing a place to go out to eat,  you pick 3 acceptable places,  and I'll pick one of those.  

And avoid snarky word choice.  "You may not have realized" is worlds better than "did it ever occur to you".  ;D
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OMGolly RockRose,  
We ARE, We Truely ARE of the same Opinion that Marriage is NOT a "lot of work".  There are "trials" and "tribulations"in Life - but what does that have to do with 'Marriage'?.  If it's a "good" Marriage, if it's a "good" Partnership, well then, we just face up to 'whatever' as "Partners" and "Marriage" doesn't even come into question/equasion!!
I speak as one who was once in a poor,  a very, VERY poor "marriage" AND as one who is in a Marriage now that is so PROFOUNDLY different than my first one.  I now have a UNION (marriage) that  NOTHING can/could "threaten".  Of Course there are 'issues" and 'situations" and 'problems"  and "whatever" that arise, but those things do NOT change/alter the UNION between Two Committed People .
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Thanks for sharing your comments with us. They're helpful for our community members.   Everyone is welcome to continue answering this thread, as well as look for new questions each month!

Best,

Cheryl
MedHelp
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