This is a guest post by Lawrence Namale. More about Lawrence at the end of the post.
Marriage is not the design of men, but the wisdom, pleasure, design and plan of the Almighty.
Many young men and women dream of the day they will finally get married and ‘enjoy’ life with one another, exclusively.
But once they get married they quickly discover that marriage is a little bit more complex than they had initially imagined: it’s not exactly smooth and trouble free.
Yet marital challenges are inevitable in any marriage.
It’s how we resolve them that matters.
Today, I want to share six points on masterminding relational challenges in marriage.
I have written an eBook titled “21 Commandments to Mastermind your Comeback” and today’s lessons are derived from that eBook. (More details on how you can get a free copy of this eBook at the end of the post)
1. Resolve Early.
Conflict in marriage brings out several things from the couple:
– Their most cherished positions on matters.
– Their individual thoughts about each other.
– The silent cry for an awesome relationship.
– The raw individual personalities.
– Assessment whether one is loved or not (especially for wives)
It’s important to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity.
When matters linger for a day or week or a month, issues will escalate because of the compounding of the five things mentioned above.
When left to simmer, you begin to deal with the ‘misinterpretations’ of the real conflict.
You find yourselves dealing with illusions instead of issues.
Many couples are adrift today largely because of these misinterpretations and illusions.
So when a conflict arises, resolve it at the earliest opportunity.
And for this to be done, you have to die to the flesh: don’t wait for ‘supporting’ emotions before you resolve.
That being said, be wise with the timing for resolution.
The best time to resolve is not when he is hot tempered and she’s crying. Let’s calm down first and then resolve.
Isolation is a dangerous thing.
Yes, we do need some solitary time every now and then but going off by ourselves when the relationship is in trouble is not a good thing.
Ask yourself ; who is my most trusted friend?
I am talking about a common friend who respects the both of you and will not take sides.
It might be a mentor, a pastor, an elderly couple or a counselor.
For us men, we are so macho we think it is weakness to talk to a counselor about issues in our marriage.
But that’s pride. And pride stinks!
When facing conflict that needs outside intervention, it is important to re-connect with one of these people and just talk.
Let your spouse know that you reached out to so and so and let them know exactly what you told them.
Do not allow yourself to churn out illusionary thoughts which only lead to implosion.
3. Review before deciding
While the conflict is still ongoing, we tend to think up all manner of negative thoughts about our spouses and relationship.
Do not decide your next step using only the input of the current crisis.
Don’t take drastic steps in the heat of the moment.
Take some time to ‘cool off’ before making permanent decisions.
Even God does this. He told Moses to step aside so he could obliterate the stiff necked Israelites…but Moses interceded for them…but I digress.
Without roots, a tree cannot bear fruits.
All marital issues have roots.
Sometimes, these ‘roots’ are something we cherish as individuals.
What I am saying is that the cause of your conflict could be something ‘good’ that must be uprooted.
If for example, your spouse is wary of a certain friendship that you have, and they have good reasons for their feeling, you might need to make adjustments as far as that friendship is concerned.
What is important to you?
Your spouse or that friendship? Your marriage or the football/basketball/baseball team?
What ‘painful’ adjustments can you make to enhance your marital bliss?
The measure of your love to your spouse could be the degree you are willing to prioritize her over personal recreational agendas.
Marital conflict can localize our attention on the pain and setback to the extent that we miss the bigger picture.
The naïve will say they never imagined they’d ever have a misunderstanding in marriage.
But really when there’s misunderstanding in marriage, it doesn’t mean all is lost.
It is OK to have misunderstandings.
Let me re-phrase that. It is only human to have misunderstandings.
I am not saying that we should rejoice when a misunderstanding shows up to celebrate our humanity.
I am saying that we should not think we are beyond hope because we have a misunderstanding.
The most important thing is reach out for your marital dreams and allow them re-focus as you work out the conflict.
Don’t think your marriage will never be successful just because of one setback.
6. Reach out For Your Dreams
Folks, there is no better time to reach out for your marital dreams than when you face a crisis or a conflict.
Sadly, many people look for the exit door at the first sign of trouble.
Yet conflict can be the wake up call we need to point us to the important things.
It should not be an undertaker of our marital bliss.
Every time you have a marital setback, you need to think again about your ideal marriage – how you desire your marriage to be.
As you do, you will begin to see exactly how you have deviated from your goal (with the input of this conflict).
And you will be at a better place to not only resolve the conflict, but also implement certain things that will draw you closer to your marital bliss.
Question: How do you resolve conflict in your marriage? Do you use any of these tips I’ve shared? Please share your wisdom in Comments below
About Author: Lawrence Namale is Lifecoach, speaker, husband and dad. You can get a free copy of his eBook “21 Commandments to Mastermind your Comeback” when you subscribe to his blog.