Day 17: Conflict

Today at our staff training we learned about conflict in marriage. Jeff started off by saying, "Marriages without conflict are not good marriages." This is the exact response this evoked in me . . . "What?!! Yesssssssss!" (Of course that response happened inside my head b/c there were people all around me, but trust me, I was excited!)

He went on to say that marriages without conflict don't have two people in them who trust one another well enough to be transparent and authentic. Next thought in my head . . . "Oh yeah, marriage of the year baby!"

And from there he went on to describe what "good" conflict looks like. (This is pretty much where my mental celebration broke down.) I thought I would share a few of his thoughts with you.

1. Resolve the conflict right away.
Now I think I do this pretty well. I'm not very good at allowing unresolved conflict (not just in my marriage) so I can work at resolution almost to a fault (yes, that is possible!)

2. Confess, don't confront. (I knew I was in trouble here when I had no idea what he meant by this!) Basically, don't enter the conflict resolution (aka argument) with your list of things the OTHER person has done wrong. This will get you nowhere in a hurry. Trust me, I have evidence to back me up on this one!

3. Negotiate, don't fight. Try to remember that you don't have to be right, and no one has to win, because you are on the same team. (That's quite the concept there now isn't it?)

4. Be loving and respectful. I laughed when he asked for some examples of this and the room was silent for a good while. :) But here were some thoughts others had: No name calling, don't use sarcasm, watch your tone of voice, don't do things to intentionally hurt the other person. (I gave myself an A at this. I wonder if that's how Mike would grade me? . . . probably not.)

All that to say, I have way more to share with you, but my hair is drying funny and my coffee is cold, which is my signal to go get dressed and go to work. More tomorrow.

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