Conflict in Relationships: Who’s at Fault and How to Resolve it.

During the first year of the pandemic when TV shows stopped releasing new episodes, I searched for a “new to me” show to watch that had several seasons so I could keep watching for awhile. I came across Married At First Sight (Lifetime) on Hulu.

I had never heard of this show, I think because I was busy taking care of 3 small children when the show first began. But I thought the show had an interesting concept, arranging marriages of 2 people who had never met before and then following their first 2 months of marriage, helping them resolve conflict and learn from “experts” how to be married.

I have had my share of conflict over my past 40 years of life. I am naturally a conflict avoider (attachment style). You can determine your attachment style at the How We Love website.

By watching other couples and also hearing about conflicts from friends and families, I’ve learned there are 2 main types of people who can cause problems in relationships, those that are instigators / fighters (controllers) or those that avoid/passive aggressive (vacillators, avoiders, victims) but may put a majority of the blame on the instigator. There are no perfect people in a relationship. We all need to repent and offer forgiveness.

After having been divorced and now been remarried for 10 years, I’ve learned how to better resolve conflict, and that I can’t just avoid it. I’ve also learned to be more flexible and less sensitive. Not everything is worth fighting about . I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” I realized that when parenting my children since they often spilled their milk 😄. What’s the point in getting all angry and risking damaging a relationship for a lifetime when it takes minutes to clean up the milk.

Maybe ask yourself before saying yelling at someone, is this really worth fighting over? I think of the following scripture: “My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭

Words spoken out of anger can cause damage. Even if the words spoken aren’t directed towards that person. Think of gossip or venting.

Have you ever spoken badly about your significant other or person you are in conflict with to your best friend or another confidant? You are tearing that person down even though you didn’t do it to their face. This is cowardly. I understand that you may have done it to get guidance, but honestly, many do it just to gain alliances. “A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:28‬ ‭CSB‬‬

If you find yourself “venting” to people that you know will take your side no matter what, maybe you should reconsider your motive. If you really want to resolve the conflict and you and the individual can’t do it on your own, then find a non-bias third party. And be honest in the counseling session, don’t just try to “win” the argument. Because often there is a loser if one person tries to win. The best overall win is for the relationship, not the individual.

The Biblical way to handle conflict can be found in Matthew 18: 15-17. If you notice in the scripture, Jesus says if your brother sinned against you, that you should tell the brother first. You don’t go and tell all your friends, family or church first.

There may be times though that you try and resolve the conflict Biblically and the person still won’t listen. This is what happened in my first marriage. I went to my husband, he didn’t listen, so I went to counseling and asked him to go, he said no and still continued to harm me and the kids so then I had to leave for mine and my children’s safety.

You can do what’s right in God’s eyes and know you have done the right thing. Take note of the conflicts you currently have in your life and work in the best way to resolve them in a Godly way.

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