You’re going to face conflict in any marriage. Conflict happens whenever there are two or more people in a room.
Conflict occurs when people have different opinions. Conflict is neither good nor bad.
If you’re honest, you will acknowledge that you and your partner don’t agree on everything, which is where marital conflicts will arise. You see the world differently, because of the influence of personality.
Once you discover conflict resolution in marriage, it will help keep your relationship healthy and strong. But where do you start?
The Enneagram can help you create a healthy marriage.
A healthy marriage requires both of you to know your selves. In the Enneagram, there are nine different types, with each type having its strengths and weakness.
Learning your Enneagram type gives you a psychological-spiritual map to help you become conscious of the automatic behaviors you do unconsciously. Often, these are behaviors that no longer serve you.
Once you become conscious of how you show up in the world, you can make different choices that will serve you better. As you learn to walk your talk, you will be better able to resolve conflict with your partner. You will also be more open to hearing what your partner has to say.
If you both do your work, it will be much easier to find win-win solutions to resolve your disagreements.
With the Enneagram as your starting point, here are 3 ways to overcome marital conflict.
1. Learn to become an active listener.
When your mind is over-active, it is hard for you to hear another person’s perspective. Becoming an active listener requires you to quiet your mind to focus on what your partner is saying.
Find a practice to quiet your mind, such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, center prayer, or anything else that helps you calm your mind without drugs.
Listen not only through your mind, but also through your body’s sensations and heart’s emotions. It will help you access your inner wisdom.
Quieting your mind and paying attention to your inner wisdom will give you and your partner the ability to find solutions that work for you both. There is no longer the need for winners and losers.
2. Practice curiosity.
Your inner critic always gets you in trouble. It becomes a problem when you react to your partner, because it triggers insecurity within you.
The trouble begins when you get caught up in your inner critic’s negative energy, making it difficult for you to hear the perspective of your partner.
When you catch yourself getting sabotaged by your inner critic, it is time for you to get curious. Ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are. You might ask yourself what your fear is.
Take some time to calm down and ask yourself if this belief or proposal from your partner is that bad or dangerous. Your inner critic is often full of lies. You are probably a lot more courageous than you want to admit.
If you don’t understand what your partner is saying, ask questions to help you understand their point of view. If you experience your partner acting out, stay curious about what is happening for them.
Do not judge them and let them know you want to understand them.
Your inner critic likes to be dualistic. However, with the Enneagram help, you can learn a third way that can help you and you resolve disputes.
There is often a solution that will be that will become obvious to you both when you start to brainstorm solutions.
3. Brainstorm win-win solutions.
Has an idea from your partner sparked a strong reaction? You may immediately go into battle determined to prove them wrong.
When you can understand your reaction and your partner’s thoughts, you are ready to brainstorm a win-win solution.
When you start brainstorming, agree to put your ideas on paper that you both can see. Allow thoughts to flow without getting caught up in them. When you complete the list, take some time to explore a solution you can both can accept.
Agree to a plan to help make it happen and set a time, date, and place to check how you are both doing. Commit to being open and honest with each other.
When you are confident you’ve made another significant step in your relationship, do something to celebrate your achievement. The more you succeed will give you greater confidence to do this again over and over.
With practice, you will show up more and more as your authentic self. The more you are connected to your inner world and can listen with your three centers of intelligence body (sensations), heart (emotions) and head (mind), you will find it easier and less stressful to resolve conflict.
Conflict is normal. However, it does not need to be a fight.
With practice, you and your partner will learn to navigate conflict that will be respectful of you both. Learning to resolve conflict is never easy work, but rewarding when you can move ahead in life with your love genuinely bringing out the best in you.
Roland Legge is a life coach who offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by sending an email.
This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.