Relationship Problems: Why Some Conflict Can Help Prevent Divorce

October 6, 2011 by

Relationship problems are a part of every marriage, and although most couples aim to fight less, the truth is some level of conflict is actually a good thing. Why? If you have a disagreement, you need to talk it through. Avoiding the problem won’t make it go away. In fact, it will often make it worse. If you are having disagreements every now and then, it means you’re communicating, and if you are doing it in a healthy way, you’re likely finding ways to compromise and understand one another’s point of view.

Additionally, some marriages have a very low level of conflict because there is a very low level of engagement between the partners. If you’re never talking or interacting, what is there to argue about? Or maybe you just don’t see the point anymore. Sure, you’re not having the relationship problems you used to, but this lack of a connection will likely end in a divorce.

Work through Relationship Problems in a Healthy Way

So does that mean you should go home and pick a fight just to make sure you’re communicating and connecting? Of course not! But it does mean that having an argument doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to be together. Instead, change how you think about conflict. These disagreements are an opportunity to improve your marriage. It’s all in how you approach it. The goal is to be constructive, not to win the argument. Listen to what you partner has to say, and communicate your point of view in a calm, respectful way. Set ground rules for the discussion – no cursing, name calling, or yelling. If anyone breaks a rule, take a break.

And perhaps the number one way to keep an argument from getting out of hand: apologize. Take a moment to step back from the situation and acknowledge how you contributed to it. It can even be as simple as, “I’m sorry that we’re fighting.”

Talk to a Portland Marriage Counselor

Consider making an appointment with a Portland marriage counselor. Sometimes it can be helpful to seek outside assistance to improve your communication skills and work through your relationship problems.