Conflict In Marriage

Conflict is an inevitable part of marriage. Bringing two people together, at some point, there is bound to be conflict. Everyone forms their own ideas and opinions based on a host of things such as their family backgrounds, life experiences and personalities.

It doesn’t mean it has to destroy your marriage, though. In a marriage, conflicts that are mishandled can shred your connection with your spouse. If an affair is added to the mix, you’re strained to the breaking point.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can resolve conflict with your husband or wife in a way that doesn’t damage your relationship—especially if you’re working to save your marriage after an affair. Please keep reading…

When Conflict Gets Out of Control

Do you and your spouse control your conflicts—or does conflict set the tone for your relationship by controlling you?

Thinking back over arguments with your spouse, you can probably recall those that particularly got out of control. One or both of you went a little too far, saying or doing something before thinking it through, and then you had regrets. It may have even driven a wedge between you and your spouse, at least temporarily, with hurt feelings and disappointment.

Some tug-and-pull in a relationship is actually a good sign: it shows you care about the relationship. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t bother to argue, because you simply wouldn’t care one way or the other—just keep the peace. Conflict is a sign of passion between you and your spouse.

But when conflict crosses the line—leaving you both exhausted and drained and still dealing with unresolved issues—is when you and your spouse will need to take a look at how you’re managing conflict. If your arguing has devolved to the point of name-calling, disrespect and unsavory language, it’s time to call a halt.

Resolving conflicts after an affair can be an exceptional challenge. Conflicts that may have been mildly heated before now take on a great deal of weight, in the form of negative thoughts, emotions and images that the victim of the affair must work through.

The cheater also has emotions to work through, and may be defensive whenever the conversation turns into a disagreement, because he or she is still trying to come to grips with the guilt they may feel for causing such damage to the relationship.

Conflict Resolution Skill Set

You can’t help how you feel, but you can help how you express your feelings.

Feelings involve issues and beliefs that have a strong effect on you. Your expression of those feelings requires skills that will help you and your spouse manage your conflicts in a way that doesn’t damage the relationship.

Step 1: Accept that Couples Disagree

If you feel strongly about an issue, it would be unreasonable to expect you or your spouse to tamp it down or ignore those feelings and hope they go away. That can cause more harm than good. It’s best to express those feelings.

When you and your spouse aren’t in perfect alignment on an issue, it does not mean the relationship is unsalvageable. Neither of you married your clone, so accept that you are two different individuals, possessing your own unique 3 pounds of brain matter, and that you are going to use that brain matter in ways that are different.

Step 2: “Pause” before a Heated Discussion Gets Overheated

When a conversation veers toward conflict, both you and your spouse need to take a breath and step back. Acknowledge—verbally—that this is a topic that requires deeper discussion because you aren’t in agreement.

By simply verbalizing aloud that there is a conflict of feelings, you are managing the tone from the outset. This allows you to pause, gather your thoughts, and understand exactly what your feelings on the subject.

Without this pause, a heated discussion can quickly slide down the slippery slope into an exchange that does nothing to express true feelings, and can leave both spouses angry and discouraged.

Step 3: Agree to Focus on the Specific Conflict

How many times have you been caught up in an argument with your spouse, and the next thing you know, one of you says something like:

“Like that time you started yelling at me for no reason because you thought I’d done something wrong…”

“But, that was when we first got married…”

Funny how today’s conflict over one thing seems to be dragging a whole trainload of ancient issues along with it. If this has been a pattern in your disagreements, it may help to once again verbalize: “This is what we are going to discuss, and we will stick with what is relevant to this specific topic.” Again, it’s a way to manage the direction and tone of the discussion.

My best to you as you manage conflict and nurture your relationship.

How are you and your spouse currently managing conflict?

Would you say that you manage conflict, or is it managing you?

If you are working to save your marriage, has there been a change in how you both manage conflict?

Is your spouse receptive to putting in the effort to strengthen your marriage?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

Leadership and Learning

Leadership and Learning
Posted by Brent Bystedt
by Linda Miller, MCC

It’s hard to believe that JFK died 50 ago.  Because of the 50-year mark, there’s been lots of talk about him and his death recently.  He left quite a legacy, as we’re all aware. 

In preparing to lead a class on coaching around managing and leading, I found an interesting quote:

Leadership and learning are indispensible to one another. 
John F. Kennedy

How very true that is!  As leaders and managers, we need to remember that we learn, too. Learning is not just for the people we lead.  Reading the quote made me think about what I’ve learned, or re-learned, recently:

We’re all leaders in one way or another – at home, in the workplace, in places of faith, in communities, with ourselves. Embracing ourselves as leaders is important.
Leadership is about character and values and living out our values consistently. This builds trust and creates a safe environment for others to do and be their best.
People watch everything that we do.  When our actions and words are aligned, we model congruency and inspire others to do the same.
Each day is a day to be grateful – grateful for what we have, for those who around us, and for the gifts we’ve been given externally and internally.
The words of JFK have made me reflective and thankful, especially at this season, and ready for more learning….how about you?

Integrity

Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.

Integrity is critical to everything we do because it is the foundation of trustworthiness in our own eyes, in the eyes of those around us, and in God’s eyes. Integrity is also a critical element in marriage. Can I count on you to be my marriage partner? Do you mean what you say when we exchange those wedding vows, or is it only for better…or better? Do I have to worry about you having an affair because you aren’t honest in other areas of your life? Can I count on you to do what you say you will do, no matter what may come along to make it difficult?

For me, it means doing everything I can to make sure that my wife Lauren is comfortable and confident. In coaching, the nature of the job, the hours put into work, and the number of times I spent away from home created enough hardships for her; I don’t want to add to that by causing her worry or stress. I do everything I can to make sure that Lauren has complete confidence in me and our relationship.

From the moment you are born, you—and you alone—determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees—low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you do not.

 

Source: Uncommon

The Inner Strength

I accompanied a friend and a colleague to her children school yesterday. While she climbed the staircase I waited for her at the ground floor to read some of the quotes pasted on the school’s notice board. One of the quotes caught my attention and it got me thinking:

“When an external force cracks an egg a life is lost but when an internal force cracks an egg a life is born. There is power within!”

I meditated on this quote and I received understanding. Every egg is a potential chick capable of growing to a mature layer that can lay hundreds of other eggs. The future of the egg is a function of the direction at which force is being applied to crack the shell. Until the shell is cracked from within life cannot exist.

When external force comes on the shell the future of the egg suddenly ends on our bread or our dining table. When a chick within an egg knocks off the shell then a life is born!

There is a power within you! The inner strength is the ultimate. “Greater is he that is within you than he that is in the world”. Until we connect to the inner strength we keep struggling with life. Don’t look for any magic wand without rather connect to the inner strength to maximise life.

The hero lies in you. You are loaded to be needed. Don’t be too conscious of your environment and lose focus of your dream. What happens around is negligible compares to what happen within. Stir the ember to fire. Go beyond the limitations. Desire to be a record breaker. Its in you. Connect to the power within and deliver the explosive dynamite you carry within.

The richest place in the world is the grave. The grave is made up of potentials that never came to limelight. They were so disconnected from the inner strength. Great musics that were never composed; bestsellers that were never written, designs that were never implemented, ideas that were never allowed to see the daylight etc. all in the insatiable belly of the grave.

Rob the grave of your potentials. Dare to die empty. Get connected to the One in you and stop being intimidated by the forces outside. You are a child of destiny born in due season. You have the enormous power within that is capable of parting the Red Sea. You are well able.

What Can You See?

God is a God of picture. He takes pleasure in using what we can see to drive us to what lies ahead that our physical eyes may not see. He challenges us to use our imaginations and he does respect it.

Shortly before the Israelites entered the Promised Land God commanded Moses to send spies to view the Promised Land. He wanted them to have a picture of the land flowing with milk and honey, a land he has promised their fore fathers.

Twelve spies were sent to view the land. They were the leaders of the people. Leaders from the twelve tribes. Leaders who had been part of the leadership team of Moses. Great men who had seen the raw display of God’s power. Men who had seen natural laws being suspended on their behalf. Twelve leaders with different insight.

It was a forty days exploration of the Land. For forty days ten of the leaders could not seen victories but defeats; they could not see possibilities but impossibility. Forty days of fear and disillusion. Meanwhile, Joshua and Caleb saw differently within these forty days and they were eager to possess the land. They saw victory where others saw defeats. They saw God where others saw the giants. They saw themselves being well able where others saw themselves as grasshoppers. They returned to the camp with their various pictures.

The ten spies were eager to give their fear provoking reports. They painted the picture of a dreadful land that swallows its inhabitants. Immediately, all the camp of Israelites saw the same picture though they were not part of the spies. Fear comes by hearing fearful reports. At once they made bold declarations of their inability to possess the land based on what they have seen from what they heard.

Caleb and Joshua tried to make them see the God Almighty as a present help in time of need. But democracy became an issue. Majority carried the votes. These men saw another picture from the same land and they made bold declarations about possessing the land. The people were angry with them because they chose to stand out and refused to take their eyes from what they have seen.

God came down in the midst of the uproar with a verdict. The people would get what they have said based on what they have seen. Those who saw death and defeat died in the wilderness while Caleb and Joshua, the spies who saw life and victory, were alive to possess the Promised Land.

What can you see in your future? You are a spy! You can spy your future. You can see what God has promised you from the pages of scriptures. What you see is what you get. Every plan of God for your life is written in the scripture. You cannot feature in a future you have not picture from the scripture. God told Abraham that as far as he can see will be given to him for possession. Abraham saw beyond the immediate environment.

At another time, God asked him to count the stars in heaven. God gave him a picture of his children in the future. With this picture it was easier to believe in the change of name. What can you see about your future?

When you cannot see a silver lining behind the dark cloud you automatically become moody. Hopelessness has its root in poor imaginations. When you can’t have a mental picture of a brighter tomorrow you become a victim of depression and hopelessness. Two men in the prison were looking outside behind the bars. They were asked what they saw. The first man said ” I saw the iron bars and the strong walls.” The second man replied “I saw the stars.” He was released not too long after.

What can you see? What is your imagination? What is your dream? To dream is to spy the future. Martin Luther King Jr dreamt and saw the future in which the black man will be rated along with the white. Our founding fathers saw a sovereign state where every citizen will be free from the hard fists of the colonial masters. The Prodigal son saw a better life in the father’s house and he moved forward to deliver himself from slavery and poverty.

You may not look like it but you must see it first to be it. “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Keep your childhood dreams alive. Believe in the great future that lies ahead of you. No matter the prevailing circumstances you are well able to possess your Promised Land. Go on! Keep on! See your great picture. Believe it and take delivery of it. Joseph held on to that picture of his future. It came to pass. David saw the picture of bringing Goliath down like one of the wild animals that intruded his flock. It came to pass.

What can you see in your future? Let me remind you of what God said about it: “I know the plans I have towards you, said the Lord of host; plans of good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11(RSV). What a great future lies ahead of you. Can you see it? There is no need for the soul to be downcast. The future is bright! There is a sparkling little star after the dark tunnel. Keep on keeping on. You will get there. Your map and compass cannot be lost as you stay your eyes on what is written about your future. What can you see? Go and possess it!

Dont Judge

One of the greatest teachings of Jesus when he returned from the forty days fasting is recorded in Matthew 7:1-2. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others,you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(NIV).

Have you ever asked your self why Jesus taught about this principle? The greatest teacher ever lived taught us never to be judgemental about people’s issues. It is very easy to judge people. In fact, we live in a world where people judged you before they listen to your story. They passed their comments before they read your commentary. It is a world of tribulations with on the spur condemnation.

A woman was caught in adultery. She was quickly dragged to Jesus for on the spot judgement. They asked Jesus what he has to say about this woman caught in the web of adultery which negates the Mosaic Law. Jesus kept mute. He was not in a hurry to judge. Despite the many witnesses that were ready to give a bit by bit account of the whole saga. There were faithful witnesses to confirm the atrocity of this woman.

“what do you have to say?” They asked him persistently. Yet Jesus kept mute. Afterward, he rose and asked them a question. “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” He was done. He stooped on the ground and kept writing.

The magnitude of the question in the hearts of the “faithful witnesses” was more than what Ritcher scale could pick. One after the other, from the eldest to the youngest, they dropped their stones and left the scene immediately. They ignored the woman. They forgot about the Mosaic Law. They had no reply for Jesus’ question. They were pricked by their own conscience. They were too ashamed of themselves.

I assumed the leader of the pressure group had a carnal knowledge with another man’s wife not too long ago; probably the next in command had been indulging in shady deals. Perhaps the least among them had stolen from the treasury. Ultimately, all of them had something secretive in the archive of their heart that was brought out for their conscience to judge.

Jesus lifted himself up and was not surprised to see the scene in a serene setting. “Where are your accusers?” He asked. “They were all gone.” She replied with a shaky voice. “What will he do now?” She asked within herself. Before she could imagine an answer Jesus told her to go and sin no more. No judgement but mercy!

The woman was overwhelmed with joy has she ran away rejoicing with a question, perhaps, in her heart. “Are all my accusers guilty of the same sin against the Law?”

Don’t judge people if you have not been in their positions. If you have not worn their shoes you never can tell where the shoe pinched them. If you have not gone through their experiences you have no right to condemn their decisions.

The prostitutes on the road side. The boy that dropped out of school. The girl that had unwanted pregnancy. The man whose wife and baby were detained in the hospital. The staff that came late yesterday. The boss that was too rigid. The landlord that nagged. The list is endless. Though the law of the land may frown against their actions, like that of the woman, yet there is a need not to be hasty in passing judgement.

We have to pray for a large heart to forgive without being judgemental. We need grace to keep our mouths from speaking guile. One major source of our problem is our tongue. When we are careless with it we expose our selves to greater condemnations. Great minds discuss ideas; feeble minds discuss people. Instead of being judgemental about other people’s affairs, you can go on tour in your closet to groan for them to have a change of heart and to receive the mercy of God.
To the Chief Judge of people’s life, don’t judge them until you walk a mile on the path of their challenges.

Time to Know God

I got this tract “How To Know God” from a woman on my way from office this week. I left it on the dinning table. This morning while I was eating I saw my wrist watch on the tract and the Spirit ministered to my spirit “Time to know God.” The ‘how’ of knowing God has been taught again and again from thousands of pulpits all around the world. We have millions of hearers but what percentage are the doers? It is time to shift base from being hearers alone to becoming doers of the Word.

From Daniel 11:32 we read that ” those who do know their God shall be strong and they shall do exploits.” Four words stand out from this verse:(1) know (2) God (3) strength (4) exploits. These four words when properly weaved together gives a code for outstanding greatness in life.

‘Know’ is an action word. It means having knowledge of a subject matter. Knowledge increases strength. Proverbs 24:5. When you fail in the day of adversity then your strength is small. Proverbs 24;10. It is the knowledge you have of God from an intimate relationship and fellowship that puts you in the class of supernatural strength that culminates in exploits (good success).

It is obvious that desire for success is at high gear these days. Everyone is after what he can get at the expense of others. No one cares about anyone as long as one has his way to the top.

The writer of the book of Daniel showed us that strength and success(exploits) are obtainable from knowing God. Do you want to be strong against the adversity of life? Do you want to stand while others fall? Do you want to keep going against all odds while others halt? You need to know God.

The challenges of life have no time table. You must live ready to conquer all the time. Strength for victory is not acquire on the battle field but before the battle. The secret to supernatural strength is to know God! For they that wait upon the Lord ( relate well with God) shall renew their strength.

The second benefits of knowing God is in doing exploits. This is talking about undeniable proofs of supernatural display of divine wisdom. Jacob did exploits in the house of Laban. Without a knowledge of Genetics he bred desired species of livestock with a rod. The exploit of preserving grains for seven years without preservatives was traceable to the knowledge Joseph had about God.

For three men to come out of a fiery fire whose flame slain three hefty security guards was an exploit that cannot be doubted. Their secret lies in ” our God whom we serve is able to deliver us..” They damned the consequences. They were strong within. Their exploit was a national news. Even the king came down to bow for men that knew their God.

It is divine strength, inward strength, that guarantees true success in life. This comes from having a personal relationship with the Almighty God. You desire inner strength and success? Get to know God. It is time to know Him more and more for greater height and victories in all battles of life.