Issues stare at you point blank, having steps to climb before attaining the height of success. The issue of conflict resolution is not passive but active. It requires taking bold steps with risk of being mocked by people who lack understanding. Your focus is on the way forward, solution and not about dwelling on the issues generated. This is the last post on conflict resolution, and intends to look at practical steps needed to succeed, taking out the potential hindrances in conflict resolution.
1. Separating issues from persons. Attacking the person would only complicate issues instead of resolving it. You take on the problem head-on, and sincerely express your concern and feelings as it relates to the issue. Your feelings could be verbalized. But it must “NEVER” get to the point of becoming physical irrespective of the gravity of the situation. Identifying the real issues of the conflict and seeing how you can work your way through them to a satisfactory solution is the best route to follow.
2. Refuse to retreat from it. You have to muster courage to constructively confront issues as they come. Retreating from it is postponing the evil day. It is usually not a good experience to have something bottled up. This creates negative feelings in a person and has a potential of damaging the relationship. Research showed that about 70% of illnesses recorded were Psychosomatic, which are stress induced. One of the causes of stress is prolonged unresolved conflicts. There was a time in my marriage that I would rather avoid conflict than to confront it. This went on over a period of time, and to my greatest surprise, I blurted out over a small issue, that my wife was taken aback. Shocked at my reaction, I realized that the prolonged unresolved issues I had bottled up were responsible. I learnt a bitter lesson from that experience because I uttered words that also hurt my wife. The truth is, the earlier you resolve issues as they come up, the more you are able to handle it successfully.My temperament traits of Phlegmatic and Melancholy contributed to the bottling up without speaking out until that faithful day. My candid advice is for you to be deliberate about resolving, not running away. You need to learn more about character development in marriage to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and that of your spouse. Recommended book is; “Why You Act the Way You Do”, by Tim Lahaye.
3. Forgiving instead of judging. Thomas Fuller quotes: “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man needs to be forgiven”.
Robert Fripp also quoted that “A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable”.
Conflicts will always come. It is not a question of whether or not it will come, but when it will come. This mindset will always put you in a favorable position. Agreed, it is not as easy as mention, but you should have a made-up mind attitude to succeed.
In my ten years of marriage, I realized that hanging on to an issue unnecessarily will only make the situation cancerous. It will always make situation to degenerate instead been resolved. The antidote therefore is to forgive and not to judge or be prejudiced.
4. Expressing Genuine Love. Love has the capacity to tame any possible hostility that might be generated from conflicts between husband and wife. Love sees change possibilities in the midst of weakness. Love forms the foundation on which openness, understanding and trust builds on. When this happens, conflict has no place to mess up your relationship.
One key factor you must take from this series on conflict resolution is that; “There will always be an effect to every action taken”. There will always be conflicts in your marriage. You have to decide from the beginning which outcome you prefer. You’ve got to weigh your options- outcome of bad management against good management after understanding the essence of conflict management.
We must be able to handle the differences in our ethnic, social and educational backgrounds as we adapt ourselves to each other in the institution of marriage. Conflicts, if handled positively should provide room for growth and development in your relationship. You must be willing to resolve all issues generated between you and your spouse to a favorable end. Your decision will either lead you to more problems or to the solution.
I ask you today, where do you stand? With the Problem or with the Solution?
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