Defuse marriage conflicts by taking on a new role.
In marriage, conflicts often replay like a broken record, with familiar arguments unfolding time and again.
Studio 5 Relationship Contributor Dr. Matt Townsend encourages a shift in perspective when navigating these recurring disagreements. He shares how to take on a different role.
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5 Roles to Defuse Marriage Conflicts
Matt highlights the tendency for couples to fall into scripted roles during conflicts, playing out the same patterns repeatedly. Instead of perpetuating this cycle, he introduces five roles to defuse tensions and foster understanding.
Imagine approaching conflicts as a curious learner rather than a staunch defender. Matt suggests taking a step back, breathing deeply, and actively listening. By embodying the role of a learner, couples can create space for understanding, setting the stage for effective communication.
Understanding emotional histories is key to resolving conflicts. Matt emphasizes the importance of caring for the emotional wounds that underlie disputes. By acknowledging and addressing these deeper issues, couples can nurture each other’s emotional well-being rather than escalating tensions.
Identifying common ground is a powerful way to diffuse conflicts. Matt advises acknowledging areas of agreement before delving into disagreements. This unifying approach establishes a foundation of shared understanding, making it easier to navigate contentious issues.
When disagreements arise, building bridges is more effective than erecting walls. Matt encourages couples to build on areas of agreement, offering apologies when needed, and framing conversations positively. This constructive approach fosters a collaborative environment for resolving conflicts.
The Change Agent
The ultimate goal is transformative change. Matt advocates for becoming a change agent by implementing alterations in behavior and habits. However, he cautions that genuine change is most effective when preceded by the other four roles. It’s not just about saying you’ll change; it’s about embodying that change through actions.