Wednesday, October 18, 2006

how you handle conflict

Drs. Bill Maier and Julianna Slattery suggest in the recent Focus on the Family broadcast "Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage" that it is not common interests, goals, or passions that make and keep a healthy marriage. Instead, according to research, statistics show that it is how each person handles conflict that makes for a successful marriage.

UPDATE: OOPS! Wrong linkage. Here are the correct links the broadcast my mum and I were discussing. "Making the Tough Times Count" with speaker and author Florence Littauer.

DOUBLE OPPS: click here and scroll down to October 2nd and 3rd for the talks titled “Marriage Survival Skills 101" parts 1 and 2 featuring Gary Smalley and Scott Stanley. THESE are the correct talks ... although I'm sure the others are beneficial, too.

h/t my mum


Ruth said...

I read a great book by Dr Slattery a few years ago - 'Finding the Hero in your Husband'. I highly recommend it.

Surely how you handle conflict is only part of the equation in a successful marriage - I mean God has to fit in there somewhere too??

Perhaps trying to live as a Christian, putting God before your spouse - and therefore bring a Godly attitude to conflict resolution in your marriage is what would help the marital success? Also, I assume being a person of your word - i.e trying to keep your wedding vows.

ckhnat said...

I agree, Ruth, that their observation is not the end-all solution. That's sort of been my beef with Focus on the Family. They tend to lean very heavily on the psychological, more so than Scripture. However, it doesn't mean that the observations are not valid. I know that in my own experience with conflict, if I remove self as the all-important factor (Are MY needs being met? etc.) and shift my focus onto responding to the conflict in a Christ-like, God-glorifying manner, my relationships grow and become more precious as a result. Trust is built. And unconditional love is expressed.

Laura said...

A certain famous TV psychologist agrees -- he claims that it's not IF you fight, since every couple fights, but how you end the fight.

Instead of "fight" that last time, I typed "Firth." Obsession?

Ruth said...

Sadly though, some couples dont ever fight - which usually means, that they don't really relate either.

I also think it's how you fight - being careful to stick to the topic at hand - and not say more hurtful things than you mean.

And Christine - you are so right about relationship building - putting the needs of others first, makes a huge difference.

Laura said...

Ruth, this famous TV psychologist claims that he can predict with almost 100% certainty if a couple's marriage is going to last, based on how they fight (as you say, it's about sticking to the topic and not resorting to ad hominem attacks) and how they end the fight (with either a resolution of the problem or an agreement to take up the issue at another time).

ckhnat said...

Laura! I had no idea you were so into this "famous TV Psychologist"


Laura said...

Ugh... I used to be, because I was interested in people's crazy lives being semi-sorted-out on TV, but I haven't watched the show in ages. It's SO dramatic, besides which, he's disgustingly secular but pretends to be "a Christian" which makes me want to hurl.

mike said...

Come on you we all know you *love* it/him. :P