In many states, all a husband or wife has to do to end the relationship is state to the court that there are “irreconcilable differences” and the court will grant the divorce. But, in any marriage, there will be irreconcilable differences. The best way to save marriage is to embrace the conflict that is inherent in a close partnership between two people.
We often think of divorcing couples as the ones who screamed at each other all of the time. But if these couples can communicate their needs through elevated voices, they are actually doing better than the couple that avoids all conflict at the cost of expressing their needs and beliefs.
It is these silent couples who need to save their marriages by embracing conflict.
While no one is suggesting that emotional and verbal abuse is a good thing for a relationship, couples who don’t acknowledge that there are problems and differences are actually more likely to split up according to Dr. John Gottman, a researcher who runs the Love Lab.
So, if you want to save a marriage, you need to learn how to communicate and express your differences. Here are some tips for such communication:
Allow enough time for proper communication. If you are not spending enough time together to air your differences and share your strengths, you will find your relationship is in trouble. Work on building couple’s time back into your life. For instance, make a point of eating dinner together several times a week or going out on a date every week.
Really listen when your partner speaks. It is amazing how much we tune out our partners. He or she may be telling you what you need to know. But, if you are not listening, it is all in vain.
Find out why your partner is annoyed. When your husband or wife is being particularly grumpy, find out what is really going on. Sometimes, it may be that you have done something that has annoyed them. Other times, it may be that something completely unrelated has occurred. But you won’t know unless you ask.
Get inside his or her world. As couples begin to drift apart, they start to live in separate worlds. When you make an attempt to get inside his or her world, you may just save the marriage.
Stop judging. Express what needs you have and listen to your spouse’s needs. But, don’t be quick to judge or criticize.
Be honest. One of the biggest problems for people who don’t like conflict is that they can’t be honest about what they want and need. When you start to express honest opinions about things, you will begin to save marriage.
Marriage is hard work. But, if it is worth it to you to save marriage, you will do the work. That means more communication, and yes, more conflict.
This guy, T.W., has a video on his site about what he calls “The Magic Of Making Up” that explains a lot (I tried to find a picture of him for here – but you can see him in the video – he’s rough but cute)…and his stuff deals with the details – what to do, what to say…check him and the free information he puts out right here->