A great resource that I back is the book, “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. I wrote a previous post, Marrying Him = Marrying Into a Family, regarding one of the chapters. I also have this book listed on our Resources Page. I said that all to say I like the book and believe it is a great resource!
Today, we are going to take a look at another chapter of the book. Chapter 4: “How to Solve Disagreements without Arguing”. Sounds like a great skill set to have! Let’s delve in and see what Chapman has to say about this topic!
“No one had ever told us that conflicts are a normal part of every marriage. There are no married couples who do not encounter conflicts, for one simple reason- we are individuals.”
Chapman says first things first. We must accept that we will have conflicts. Some will be small and some will be larger. This is NOT a sign you married the wrong person, but rather a sign that we are human. Once we have accepted the fact that there will be conflict in marriage we then must find a healthy way to deal with conflicts. Showing genuine respect while we do so is important!
Chapman explains three ways that we can solve disagreements without arguing:
Each of these three solutions start by respectfully discussing both sides of the situation. One person talks while the other listens. The listener asks follow up questions and restates what they have heard. Then, they play the opposite roles. This way each side of the situation is heard and understood.
Meeting in the Middle- After discussing both sides of the situation you find a meeting place in the middle. That means you have agreed to do a part of what each person desires while also each person sacrifices a little as well.
“There is always a solution to conflicts. Two individuals who choose to be friends will find that solution.”
Meeting on Your Side- After discussing both sides one of you decides it is best to do what the other had in mind. This is total sacrifice of your total original thoughts and doing so with a positive attitude.
“Sometimes the decision to agree with the other person’s idea will involve great sacrifice. However, love always involves some sacrifice.”
Meeting Later- After discussing both sides you feel you are not able to agree with the other side nor are you able to meet in the middle. Then a time is set to discuss the situation further at a later date. The situation may look different at a later time. The most important thing here is that you do not let it allow tension into the marriage in the meantime.
The most important part of this all is listening to each other and understanding each other’s perspectives rather than accusing each other of illogical thinking. Ryan and I personally have only had minor conflicts in our marriage which I am so thankful for. But I know it is because we have open communication where we truly try to understand where the other one is coming from. That is the same thing Chapman is saying we should do here!
“When we learn to affirm each other’s ideas and look for solutions, we can process the normal conflicts in a marriage relationship and learn to work together as a team.”
What is a way you solve disagreements without arguing?
Huge congrats to Ryan & Cassie on the birth of their first baby. They have a beautiful, eventful & blessed birth story which you can read here.