When you plan to spend the rest of your life with someone, or commit to a long term relationship where you are living under the same roof, you have to recognize it is not going to always be rosy and cheerful. Conflict is inevitable and is going to happen. How you handle it and how you go about a resolution is what will determine how your relationship fares. Long term relationships with two people are complicated. Adding in kids and financial responsibilities can cause conflicts to multiply exponentially.
If you actually analyze marital disagreements or spats, they tend to follow a negative trend. Someone is negative to the other person, the other person becomes defensive and things escalate in a negative manner. This article explores an interesting way to break that cycle. They have termed it a “Marriage Hack”. In essence the parties embrace an idea of a third party. Although figuratively, the exercise involves once you find yourself in a positional argument, for each to take a step back, take a few minutes and write about the argument and disagreement, not from your own point of view or your partner’s point of view, but from a birds eye view of a neutral third party observing your argument.
The study conducted over a few years at Northwestern University, shows that utilizing this exercise, many times, brings a clear perspective on what the couple is arguing about and what has triggered the argument. That opens the door to finding a solution. It was also interesting that they found that the couples that utilize this technique, not necessarily had less conflict, but that the conflicts did not escalate as far and caused less stress and frustration between the couple. There is nothing more damaging to a relationship when an argument goes too far in the wrong direction.
Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Jeremy Brown, Fatherly