Marital Conflict Marital conflict is “not just a difference of opinion. Rather, it is a series of events that have been poorly handled so as to deeply damage the marriage relationship. Marriage issues have festered to the point that stubbornness, pride, anger, hurt and bitterness prevent effective marriage communication” (How To Understand Conflict in Marriage, IMom). I will continue to discuss marital conflict in my supporting paragraphs and what can cause married couple to have marital issues. The greatest way in making a marriage work is to, prevent marital conflict. Therefore, when arranging to be married you should attend some sort of pre-marital counseling classes. If you do not do the pre-marital counseling classes, then the couple should attend marriage relationship counseling, after the wedding. This can give the couple the simple marital conflict resolution strategies they seek. Therefore, this can be used before the marital problems get too out of hand and too late to fix. Marriage is defined to be a relationship where trust is built up over a period of time, as devoted couples put aside their own interests for their partner and develop certain skills to help keep the relationship positive and going smoothly. But counseling can help to a certain extent; if one partner wants to try and make it work and the other doesn’t there is no hope. I’m going to list some of the top reasons for marital conflict, and they are, financial issues, infidelity, misunderstanding and how to raise children. These are just a few, but some of them can lead to married couples getting divorced, financial issues end marriages in about 50% leading to divorce according to U.S Divorce Rates and Statistics. Infidelity occurs in marriages roughly 30% to 60%, but roughly marriages end in divorces because of infidelity is 50%. These are just a few statistics that I found causing issues with in marriages. Since above I listed only a few ways couples can run into problems in their marriage, many of these should and could be easily fixed. First we have to identify the source of the problem and where it is coming from. By determining what to focus on isn’t always the easiest thing to do because; problems are not always what they seem to be. Often times, an issue is connected to or is the main cause of another problem. An example is a married couple may fight about sex, because the wife feels she is not getting respected enough, which makes her not wanting to have sex with her significant other. Furthermore, a simple problem like this can actually be the cause to a much larger issue. Another example is, when a husband does not take out the trash when his wife asks him too. As a result of this, it makes his wife even more angry and upset with him. Such a problem like this should and could be easily solved, by the husband simply just taking out the trash when asked to do so. But, it is not that simple. Emotions can and will come into play in any conflict situation; emotions are the core of almost all marital problems. So, even those who appear to have no emotional foundations, there might be an underlying issue. This would lead to why he does not do the things you ask him to do the first time. Maybe he thinks you are too controlling, nagging him, being annoying and needy, and not taking out the trash when you asked him too is a way of him rebelling against you and for him showing his independence. Then, the wife may examine his attitude as regarding her request, and this may show a sign that he does not want to help or therefore he does not support her. Then, the first step is to recognize the role of emotions as to try to improve the marital relationship. Therefore, to solve any marital problems it is required to deal with the emotions that are behind the initial problem. Marital conflict is not always a bad thing though, as stated by the article Understanding and Handling Marital Conflict on Focus on the Family.com it says, “In fact, when handled with a respectful, non-abusive spirit, it can lead to a stronger, more satisfying marriage”. When a couple on both ends is willing to talk it out and not be abusive mentally or physically about it, it will lead to them both becoming stronger and so will the marriage. On the other hand, “If you and your spouse consistently attack each other with statements like, “I’m sorry I married you,” “You are so stupid,” or “I hate you,” you’ve moved from arguing to abusing. If you throw things at your spouse – pillows, silverware, pictures, vases – it only leads to more conflict and hurt. And you never hit, push, shove, kick, or spit at your spouse. This is physical abuse” (Understand and Handling Marital Conflict, Focusonthefamily.com). Therefore, not only is it wicked and don’t mention illegal, but it can cause tremendous harm to your marriage and or relationship. If this is the way you and your spouse deal with conflict it is advised that the both of you need to seek counseling. This will be to learn the appropriate ways of resolving a disagreement. One article I found named “6 Steps for Resolving Conflict in Marriage” from FamilyLife.com, talks about 6 steps that you can use to resolve conflict in marriages, I will list the 6 steps and give an explanation for each. Step one is “Resolving conflict requires knowing, accepting, and adjusting to your differences”, one main reason couples have conflict in marriage is that they are opposites and like they say opposites attract. Most of the time but not always, a person who is more of a task oriented marries a person that is more of people oriented. Therefore, this is a reason why you married your partner, and you have to respect how they differ from you and you have to accept their flaws and they should yours. Step 2 “Resolving conflict requires defeating selfishness”, in a marriage you no longer have just yourself to worry about you also have to worry about your partner. You have to help provide and keep up with your part of the expenses. So selfishness has to go, you cannot be selfish in a marriage and if you are your marriage will not last. Step 3 “Resolving conflict requires pursuing the other person”, to have a resolution to a conflict means you must put aside your hurt and anger and focus on your partner. It does not mean losing heart, but challenging yourself to keep your relationships going smoothly. To resolve conflict with your partner you will have to work on the issues with your wife/husband daily and as well as with anyone in you’re life. Step 4 “Resolving conflict requires loving confrontation”; you have to be careful on how you approach an issue with your partner. If you come on too strong, with an attitude and or being aggressive it will not make the situation better. It will anger your partner and the whole situation will just end up into a screaming match. So to prevent this you should check your attitude before going to talk to your partner about the situation. A way to start a affectionate confrontation is to start off with either as stated in the article, “I care about you. I respect you and I want you to respect me. I want to know how you feel”(6 Steps for Resolving Conflict in Marriage, FamilyLife.com). You should not verbally attack you partner with your opinion on the issue; you should use a loving approach and that will make the resolution to the problem better. Step 5 “Resolving conflict requires forgiveness”, no matter how hard two people try to love, please and try to care for each other they will some how fail. With failure comes hurt, and disappointment that your partner has hurt you. The only resolution for hurt is forgiveness, and this is one of keys to a successful marriage. Being able to maintaining a happy marriage is to ask for forgiveness quickly, in any situation do not be stubborn and let the anger linger. Lastly step 6 “Resolving conflict requires returning a blessing for an insult”. Every marriage functions on either the “Insult for Insult” comments or the “Blessing for Insult” comments. A husband and wife can become extremely talented at trading insults, whether it is about the way he looks when he goes out, the way she cooks meals, or the way he drives the car and the way she cleans house and the smell of the cleaning products she uses. Many married couples do not seem to know a way to relate to each other, because men have their set of ways they do things and so do women. Each gender might not agree on how to do things, but the husband will just have to accept the way the wife does things and the wife will have to accept what the husband does. All in all, my research on marriage conflict I learned a lot about what can cause conflicts in a marriage. It is not just lack of communication, financial issues, and infidelity and how to raise children, there are much more underlying problems. To conclude what marital conflict is that, the wife wants one thing and the husband wants another. One activity is important to him, for example watching football, is something she hates. Two people who are supposed to be truly and deeply in love are finding themselves in disagreement to almost everything, and this is not healthy. As stated in the last article I used to support and conclude my points says that, “Marital conflicts happen when one or both persons are self- centered. One selfishly wants what he wants without consideration for the capabilities, plans, or goals of his spouse” (What is Marital Conflict, All about Life Challenges). So this is where I revisit the topic of marriage counseling, it is a very good idea for those couple that do not want to divorce and are trying to work it out. But if counseling does not help, the last option is divorce, and it might just be better off that way.