Couples Conflict Resolution Strategies

In conflict resolution strategies, the goal is to come to a resolution that is both respectful and satisfactory to each person's view. Conflict is a part of any relationship when two people seek to express themselves, but proper conflict resolution methods can minimize the hurt feelings and strain on the couple. 

What, When and Where
Before getting into a long discussion about the conflict, the couple should determine that exact problem. Sometimes when emotions are involved and people are defensive, the fight can end up being about many things, skipping over topics and bringing up issues that are not relevant. Defining the conflict is the first step towards developing conflict resolution strategies. Where and when the discussion takes place is another important conflict resolution method. There should be ample time to have the discussion - knowing you are on time constraints won't allow enough time for true and open communication. Ensure that both people are not tired, drunk or distracted by anything outside of the talk zone, which should be a private area with no interruptions.

Proper Language
Helpful conflict resolution strategies involve discussing the topic of the conflict. What you say is important in reaching a negotiation. Validate your feelings in conflict resolution strategies by using "I" statements that share your view on things: "I don't like it when you spend money without telling me." Avoid using extreme language, such as "you never," "I always" and "you can't." Focus on some positives if possible: "I've noticed you've tried to get home on time, but it's still a problem." Also, be prepared to negotiate to come to a satisfactory agreement: "We could take turns driving the carpool. Which days work best for you?"

What Not to Do
When seeking conflict resolution strategies, there are many things that deter communication and should be avoided. Don't threaten the other person, either physically or emotionally. Never be sarcastic or hurtful and never say anything you wish you could take back later. Avoid jumping from topic to topic, especially if an issue is in the past and is already resolved. Finally, don't refuse to negotiate just because you feel the need to win the argument at all costs. 

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