4 Things to Say To Solve a Conflict

when you don't know what to say or do...

If you had 4 things to say to solve a conflict with your husband, would you jump into using them? I hope so! Do you wonder what to say to him when you are hurt? Do thoughts of submission and respect and “in all things” come to mind?

And so you do nothing because you don’t know what to do? Frozen? Or does your heart pound at even the thought of dealing with a conflict in your marriage?

I’m chiming in with Gary Thomas – dunno if you have read his blog recently about how the church needs to stop telling wives to grin and bear it by endorsing men’s bad behavior with “God hates divorce.” I don’t think he means to imply that divorce is the right first course of action when dealing with men who behave in ways that are hurtful to their wives. It could be read that way, but if you follow him, you know he thinks differently. One of my favorite books to do with The Respect Dare, is Gary’s book, Sacred Influence.

I just feel compelled to share one of my favorite tools with you today in an effort to help the many women who are struggling in their marriages. It’s being respectful, and open to her husband, but not to his behavior.

Here we go. For sake of discussion, let’s pick something small, like he promised he’d change the oil in your vehicle, but he hasn’t. You’ve reminded him twice, using our “as if it’s the first time,” gentleness approach. He still hasn’t done it.

Baby, can I have your attention for just a few minutes? Thanks. I know you’re busy, and I’m sure you intend to take care of the van. It has been 2 months since I asked about it and it is about 2000 miles over when it was due for an oil change.

I drive the kids around daily, and I’m becoming concerned about our safety in that vehicle. But really the impact here is it makes me feel unloved and not important when I have to keep worrying about this. 

I hate to say it, but this is starting to effect how I feel about you. 

I want you to keep your word with me and value the things that are important to me as much as you value your stuff. I’d like the oil changed tonight or tomorrow. Is there a way we can make that happen?

Let’s break this down.

We have a formula for you, FIEW:

  • Facts
  • Impact
  • Effect
  • Want

Facts: (with a soft start-up)

Baby, can I have your attention for just a few minutes? Thanks.I know you’re busy, and I’m sure you intend to take care of the van. It has been 2 months since I asked about it and it is about 2000 miles over when it was due for an oil change. (facts)

Impact:

I drive the kids around daily, and I’m becoming concerned about our safety in that vehicle. But really, the impact here is it makes me feel unloved and not important when I have to keep thinking about this. 

Effect:

I hate to say it, but this is starting to effect how I feel about you. 

Want: (with open ended question)

I want you to keep your word with me and value the things that are important to me as much as you value your stuff. I’d like the oil changed tonight or tomorrow. Is there a way we can make that happen? 

Notice the lack of accusatory language, (avoid “you” unless it is complementary). See also that the start-up is soft and kind. The research shows that divorce is predictable in the first three minutes of a conflict conversation with a couple – how conversation starts is usually how it ends. (More on start-ups and other predictors of divorce here)www-yourwebsitesale-com

In a healthy marriage, both people contribute to the relationship and the upkeep of the family and home. If one person is doing the majority of work, this is a breeding ground for resentment. It’s also not Biblical, whether you are the husband or the wife. 

Lack of balance in this area also causes a ton of issues with our kids. We teach them that one person is more special than others if they don’t see both parents doing upkeep around the home. I’m not saying that one person staying home full time should still equate to equal work overall – of course in a traditional family (for sake of context) Mom is going to be seen by the kids as doing more because she is there. But when Dad is around, if he’s chipping in, he will have a greater impact on their children. The kids will be more likely to pitch in as well if they view that as normal living behavior.

This formula applies to nearly all situations – with a caveat… sometimes a future consequence needs to be thrown in with the Effect step.

Bottom line: Ignoring conflict results in bigger problems. If we don’t deal with things in the small, they grow.

Love to you,

Nina

Here’s a few more articles you might find interesting:

My favorite post about satan and his influence in your marriage

Top 5 Ways to Respect Your Husband

Got a Teen with Entitlement Issues?

Struggling with Life Balance? (aka, “How’d we get in THIS mess?”) *If you are chauffeuring kids everywhere all the times, you’ll want to check this out!

How to lose the weight and keep it off (and yes, it really works!)

How to Help People (and yourself) STOP Freaking Out During Conflict

 

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “4 Things to Say To Solve a Conflict

  1. hppt://saverrmarriage.com

    What a great post! I find it imperative and important the choice of words and approach chosen when addressing a conflict.Words and attitude can fuel a desired need, thus getting it done or totally defuel the need, stopping it in its tracks and instead reverting the fuel into a raging flames.

  2. Brilliant! Thank you so much for giving an example of how to communicate this 😀 what a blessing!

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