Category

Conflict

How to Repair a Relationship Damaged by Overcontrol

By | Conflict, Marriage | 6 Comments

“That is the mystery of grace: it never comes too late.” – Francois Mauriac Nothing suffers more from overcontrol than our relationships. Trying to control other people does nothing besides push them away. At the root of all controlling behavior is the desire to control one’s own anxiety. For the controller, it creates peace and calm and a taste of power over everything that seems beyond real control; namely people and time. For “control freaks” compromise doesn’t feel gratifying – a victory does. The result? Relationships are damaged. So how do you repair a relationship you’ve damaged by overcontrol? Every…

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How to Overcome The Silent Treatment

By | Communication, Conflict, Marriage | 3 Comments

The silent treatment. Need we say more? Most of us have experienced this at one time or another – either as the giver or the receiver. Spouses can become out of synch; one is ready to tackle the issue, while the other has completely backed off to the point of silence. Regardless of who is the culprit, the silent treatment can be devastating and may feel like an impossible feud to handle. After all, silence makes no sound – but says so much. So what should you do when your spouse gives you the silent treatment? How should you respond?…

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Four Communication Barriers and How to Spot Them

By | Communication, Conflict, Marriage | 10 Comments

Silence is a powerful communicator. Whenever we see a marriage that is slowly disintegrating, it’s usually followed by the couple concluding “they can’t communicate” or “they don’t talk anymore.” These couples believe that their non-talking is a lack of communication. When in fact it’s the opposite. When you don’t talk, silence sends a surplus of negative messages. Silence is powerful in its own way. Silence is not the cause of poor communication – the fear of pain is. It’s human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The truth is people actually avoid pain first, then seek pleasure. And under…

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Solving Six Common Saboteurs in Marriage: Part Two

By | Communication, Conflict, Marriage | 2 Comments

Last week, we started our 2-part series on common saboteurs in marriage and how to stop them in their tracks. Most marriages will likely fall victim to one of these sneaky attacks at some time or the other. They tiptoe into our marriages without a sound, and can go undetected until they have already made a mark. However, there are ways you and your partner can fight these saboteurs. Today, we are picking back up on our series and discussing the final three: drift, debt, and pain from the past. Let’s dive in. Saboteur Four: Drift Many couples complain, and…

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How to Stop the Never-Ending Money Arguments

By | Communication, Conflict | 3 Comments

Arguments over money are inevitable. Money is a hot topic and according to research is usually the number one source of conflict for couples in marriages. Money represents power, and is the source for meeting needs and wants. Because of this, it’s easy to feel like you have to protect yourself when a conversation with your spouse comes up about money. And feeling the need to protect your values and needs can often spiral into an argument. Money talks will rear their head from time to time in your relationship, it’s unavoidable and is an important conversation that’s necessary in…

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Spender or Saver? How to Compromise With Your Spouse This Holiday Season

By | Communication, Conflict | 3 Comments

Holiday season is upon us and gift giving is in full swing. But what happens when you and your spouse disagree on how much is too much? Perhaps you’d like to give your kids or a loved one a gift that your spouse finds is over the top. Or vise-versa, your spouse prefers to spend but you prefer you stick to a strict budget. Everyone expresses love in their own unique way, and for some people gift giving is the best way they know how to give and receive love. In fact, did you know that most relationships have a…

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Planning Your Wedding Part 3: Constructively Resolving Conflict

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 2 Comments

It’s common for family members to clash with the engaged couple (or one another) during a busy season of wedding planning. Weddings seem to provide endless opportunities for families to squabble about traditions, decor, music, and other minutiae down to the smallest details. Unfortunately, family members do this to the detriment of peace, and the bride and groom’s happiness. Last week in part 2, we talked about the importance of boundaries–and how having strong boundaries can make your wedding planning process more enjoyable. But even with the healthiest of boundaries in place, conflict can still arise. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and…

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What to Do If Your Spouse’s Friend Betrays Them

By | Communication, Conflict | One Comment

When we get married, we don’t often think much about how each of our respective circle of friends will continue to change and evolve over time. That’s because we’re focused on our spouse–and rightly so. But the truth is, friendships will come and go like they always have. Betrayal is an incredibly painful experience, and it’s something all of us experience at different times, in different relationships, throughout our lives. So if your spouse has been betrayed by a friend, how do you support them through it? Trust your spouse’s judgment Sometimes, a betrayal can blindside us. But other times,…

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Zip Your Lips: How to Protect Your Marriage’s Privacy

By | Communication, Conflict | 14 Comments

It’s a challenge to deal with an “overly-disclosing” spouse. If this sounds familiar, your spouse may mean no harm…yet they regularly manage to tell their friends or family things you’d rather keep private. We (Leslie and I) struggled with this issue early in our marriage. For Leslie, talking about things I didn’t want repeated outside our marriage was just her way of connecting with her friends. She wasn’t trying to be hurtful…yet, it made me feel sad and violated. Luckily, there’s a happy ending to our dilemma. Because Leslie didn’t want to be the reason I clammed up and stopped…

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Tips for Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 10 Comments

Most married couples are uncomfortably familiar with some level of stress when it comes to their in-laws. Maybe you’re dealing with invasion of your privacy, criticism, or jealousy, to name a few issues. The bottom line is, you married one another’s families when you married each other–now, you need to be able to work together to navigate the difficult situations that may arise from time to time. This week, we’re completing our two-part series on challenging in-law relationships. (If you missed part 1, you can catch up here.) Read on to learn a few more ways you and your spouse…

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