Friday, July 29, 2011

CONFLICT IN MARRIAGE: GOOD OR BAD?

by Aziza Uko

Conflict is just disagreement. One person wants to go left and the other wants to go right. It is normal. It is bound to happen when two people live together. No matter who those two people are - twins, siblings, best friends, etc. 

Christians often view conflict negatively to the extent that it is common to find ministers testifying of having had no conflict in their marriages. Though such testimonies are suspect, I don’t want to dwell on that today.

Conflict can be beneficially to the relationship because it permits people to set their boundaries and it leads to understanding. "If I move this coffee table, it upsets my husband. So, I will not move the coffee table." "If I don't call my wife to tell her I'll be late, she's going to be really upset when I get home. So, I'm calling her right away." Also, conflict draws couples closer because after the resolution of the conflict they tend to be closer and have a deeper relationship, better understanding. So, conflict actually spices up the relationship. 

So the focus of a marriage couple should not be to avoid conflict entirely, because that's an uphill task that could drain them emotionally and lead to bottled up negative emotions that could explode one day to disastrous consequences. Rather the focus should be on how to resolve conflicts as they arise. 

The Bible says that we should not go to bed with our anger. So, as conflict arise in a marriage, especially in the early days of the relationship, they should be resolved ASAP. That where you need to practice the following:

1. Displease yourself to please your spouse.
 
2. Make compromises.
3. Look inwards to change yourself and not your spouse.

3. Forgive your spouse and make room for his or her weaknesses.
4. Control your temper and don't allow things to go overboard.

Conflict can be destructive when the five principles above are broken and the conflicts remain unresolved so that issues pile up.

In conclusion, too much conflict can destroy a relationship just like too much spice can spoil the food.


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(c) 2011, Aziza Uko. This work is the original work of the author and copyrighted. It may not be reproduced in part or in whole in any form without the permission of the author and proper acknowledgement.

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