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Resolving conflicts in the home

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James O. James

“Be ye angry and sin not: let not the Sun go down upon your wrath.” Ephesians 4:26

Many families are presently going through trying periods and are struggling to make ends meet, which is capable of triggering misunderstandings and quarrels.

Conflict in the home is common, but couples must develop the capacity to handle them with maturity as they arise because:
• Unresolved conflicts never go away. They are just momentarily buried only to resurface later and stronger.

• The inability to resolve conflicts is a sign of immaturity and selfishness.

• They lead to bitterness, resentment and ultimately break down of the home.

• They do not leave a good example for the children who should learn how to manage their homes from parents.

• When the marriage breaks down, the casualties are usually the children who are made to suffer emotionally and physically.

Main Reasons Conflicts Arise
• Financial pressures – if the man is unable to provide for his household.

• Sudden dislocation – e.g. sudden loss of a job.

• Suspicion of infidelity.

• Third-party interference especially in-laws or close friends.

• Unsatisfied needs including sexual needs.

• Failure to agree on salient things before marriage

How To Handle Conflicts
• Resolve that every issue must be discussed openly, timely and objectively.

• Allow your spouse to speak. Don’t assume you already know what he or she wants to say.

• Be a good listener. Many times women just want to be heard and loved.

• Use the sandwich method to correct your spouse. The sandwich method is to first start with praise, then state the matter you’re unhappy about and finally end up with another word of praise. For example, you can say something like, “my husband, I know you’re trying your best to provide for us and I am grateful, but there’s this issue that has been bothering me that you’ve not yet handled. I know if you handle it, you will do a good job of it and that’s why I thank God you’re my husband”. It will only take a devil’s incarnate to be angry with a wife who speaks with such wisdom.

• Don’t try to win all the arguments. Learn to shift grounds especially if your spouse is vehement about something.

• When your spouse is blowing hot, that’s not the time to lose your own temper. Allow your spouse to vent his or her anger and then find an auspicious time to discuss.

• Pre-empt conflicts by taking your spouse out on a date without the children and talk about your marriage. Let your spouse say what he or she doesn’t like in a friendly atmosphere.

• Learn to keep your promises. Don’t promise what you don’t intend to do just to avoid a quarrel. It’ll always boomerang with dire consequences.

• Don’t report your spouse to your parents or friends. Resolve issues together as much as possible and if you can’t then talk with your Pastor or a marriage counselor only.

• Protect the children from experiencing any act of domestic violence or uncontrollable anger.

Finally, if your spouse does what you don’t like, use the sandwich method to let him/her know in a loving and friendly tone.


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