I wrote last week about the importance of active listening. In any relationship the partners must be assertive in sharing ideas and opinions. Of course these should be shared politely and respectfully! Active listening skills assist in clarifying the differences between perspectives, but also will reveal conflict.
Most people are afraid of conflict. As I work with couples this is a common theme. We go out of our way to avoid conflict, when in actuality conflict is a constant in life. It cannot be avoided. It can only be ignored or worked through.
Ignoring conflict is not a solution, but simply postpones the inevitable. Couples who have neglected to work out conflict in their marriage find that areas of the relationship die.
Healthy marriages discover the strength of seeing conflict as a life-giving experience. Like anything of benefit, conflict resolution needs to be understood and practiced. I would like to examine some of these skills in the coming weeks.
I would enjoy hearing from you with ideas on conflicts in your relationships and perhaps we can discuss these in the comments.