Conflict Resolution in Marriage

What happens when we do not deal with conflicts directly?

We, Filipinos, do not like conflict or confrontation. We often say that we will let ourselves cool down, smile through what we are feeling and we generally declare that everything is alright. This is further complicated by our common practice, especially among Filipina women, of using the silent treatment. This does not resolve the issue because the other person does not know what the problem is. So we let conflicts pass and try to forget the experience. But do we really forget?

What happens when we do not deal with conflicts directly? Be it in our own homes, among friends, or with other people, unsettled issues often pester within our hearts and destroy our relationships. Human nature tends to exaggerate the faults of the other person. We subscribe to them motives that are often untrue. Since we just keep perceived faults to ourselves, we then add up all subsequent faults we see and experience. Couples may separate, parents and children’s trust towards each other broken, friendships torn and communities destroyed.

However, we should realize that misunderstanding is normal in relationships. The distinct feature of our nation, with its diverse cultures, norms, practices, beliefs, influences and dialects/languages, we should understand that there would always be various forms of conflict in our relationships. To simplify our lives, try to see conflict constructively and how it could, in fact, strengthen our relationships.

The most important aspect of dealing with conflict is to forgive. We have to remember that Jesus Christ forgave us of all our sins and we must do the same towards other people. This topic is discussed more in this link(forgiveness).

Take the first step and talk about the issue. With God’s help, it is possible to resolve a conflict.

  • Sincerely consider the point of view of the other person and where he is coming from.
  • Remember that words can either heal or kill. Be calm when discussing the issue. Focus on the issue and on how to resolve it. Refrain from discussing past faults.
  • If you are the one in the wrong, quickly admit it and seek forgiveness.
  • Filipinos often remain silent or say that everything is okay even if they got hurt. They also tend to smile despite the negative emotions they are feeling.
  • There are more than 40 different ethnic groups in the Philippines of distinct culture and language.
  • The country is predominantly Catholic but the population is also composed of Protestants, Muslims, and many “tribal” or “indigenous” groups.
In this drama, both husband and wife are disappointed in their relationship. Each believes the other gives too little, and that they themselves give too much. Each pray that the other will change. Learn how to admit your own faults and the joy of forgiveness.