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To err is human. In our day-to-day living, we make mistakes. Sometimes small ones, and sometimes big ones. In doing so, we disappoint our loved ones and ourselves. This is especially true for married couples because husband and wife are interdependent; the actions of one affect the other. Hence, it is only normal for conflicts to arise. Truth is that conflicts are not all that bad. If a conflict is resolved in a healthy manner, it can bring you closer to your spouse, rather than further apart.

How can you resolve a conflict effectively?

Acknowledge, Accept, Adapt

Your spouse is not you. Whilst most of us acknowledge this fact, many fails to accept it. Your spouse is different and loves differently. If you feel like your spouse does not love you as much as you love him or her, you need to understand that different people have different ways of showing love. Some express it in words, some in the form of gifts and some in the form of gestures. Just because your spouse has a different way of expressing love, it does not mean that the love is not reciprocal. For starters, do not expect too much from your spouse, no expectations, no disappointments. Next, try to have a more positive outlook on your spouse’s differences. Remind yourself that their differences add variety and perspective to your life. Knowingly or unknowingly, their differences make you complete. When you accept your spouse’s differences, you can adapt better. You can love better.

Selflessness Over Selfishness

Selfishness is one of the biggest causes of conflict in a marriage. You need to be aware that you and your spouse are not two separate entities anymore. The two of you are one in marriage; and in being united, the two of you must be mindful of each other. ALWAYS. Whenever you do something, instead of thinking what is best for “me”, think about what is best for “us”. Give in. Sometimes, you will have to compromise. It is difficult, yet possible and most definitely worth it.

Instead of Residing in Your Problems, Resolve Them

The first step to resolving the conflicts that arise between you and your spouse is to put aside your bitter feelings of hurt and anger. Do not explode in anger when your spouse has wronged you. At the same time, do not bottle all these emotions inside your heart. When you are disappointed with your spouse, think before you react. Emotionally charged decisions never solve the underlying problem. In fact, sometimes they may worsen the situation. Also, when you are hurt, do not withdraw yourself completely. Practice unity over isolation. Pursue resolution and peace; every problem has a solution.

Do not Avoid Your Spouse, Confront Them

Whether you like it or not, your spouse cannot read your mind. When they have hurt you, tell them. However, confront them with tactfulness and love. Use words that will help, rather than hurt. Even if your spouse is at fault, show them respect. Bring about healing instead of harm. Also, before confronting your spouse, check the circumstances. Are they going through a hard time? Is their demeanor a product of external pressures? Be sensitive. Do not judge, do not assume, don’t blame. Your marriage is not a competition where there is a winner and a loser. It’s either you both win, or you both lose.

Forgiveness is the Door to Peace

To forgive means to give up resentment and revengefulness. It means to simply let go of the existing problem. Asking for forgiveness is equally as important as granting forgiveness. Whilst it is true that your mistakes cannot be undone, asking for forgiveness indicates that you have acknowledged your mistake and want to move forward. In the same way, when your spouse is the one at fault, be quick to forgive and quicker to forget. Put the past behind you. Begin again with a clean slate.

No matter how hard a couple try to give each other happiness and love, the reality is that they will fail somewhere along the way. And with failure comes hurt. Always be mindful that while challenges are bound to come to the two of you, they do not have to get between the two of you. However, if conflicts arise too frequently and the road of your marriage is beginning to get rocky, your first step should be to try to pull it back from the danger zone. However, when the damage is beyond repair, divorce can spare you and your family a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.

Although divorce can be a dark and painful stage of one’s life, there is a rainbow after every storm. Embrace change. If you have decided on a divorce, acquire the courage to let go of the things that no longer make you happy, and develop the strength to fight for the happiness that you deserve.

Accept your reality.

The first step to getting through a divorce is accepting it as a part of your reality. If you are in denial of it, you will inevitably be trapped in the past with no way forward. The frustration that arises as a result will slowly but surely reveal itself in your work life and personal life. Although divorce can be a dark and painful stage of one’s life, there is a rainbow after every storm. Embrace change. If you have decided on a divorce, acquire the courage to let go of the things that no longer make you happy, and develop the strength to fight for the happiness that you deserve.

Take care of your physical and mental health.

Get a hold of yourself and your feelings. Allow yourself to feel your emotions—hurt, sadness, guilt, failure, or rejection. Nevertheless, do not dwell in these feelings. Eat well and sleep well. Do things that are nurturing and positive and confide in the people around you whom you can trust. Try your level best to make peace with your past and move on. You are not your past. This is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your children. The degree of how well your children adjust to the divorce lies in how well you cope with your divorce. Children generally have different types of reactions depending on certain factors such as their age, their personality, and the type of divorce you are going through. Nevertheless, almost all children will look up to their parents for signs of reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

Invest in yourself.

A saying by Maya Angelou goes, “You may not have control over all the events in your life, but you can choose not to be reduced by them”. The most important attitude you need to possess in getting divorced is the willingness to accept the change that comes with it. In getting divorced, you are not only ending your marital problems, but you are also losing all the elements that worked in the relationship—the good stuff. Nevertheless, do not be afraid of being alone. You will feel lonely along the way. However, know that you can learn your way around your insecurities. It gets better; slowly, but surely. Divorce can also shake up your life on every other level. It will affect your financial stability. You may lose some of your mutual friends. The biggest nightmare would probably be dealing with your kids. Yes, there will be loss. But what you gain may be worth far more than the sacrifice of staying in an irreparable marriage. Concentrate on yourself. Take some time off your daily routines to spend “you time” every day. Explore your interests and take breaks where you need to. Cultivate your hobbies and do things that make you feel whole as a person.

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