Resolve Conflict - Divorce-Proof your Marriage in 6 Easy Steps!

Posted by Evie Shafner, LMFT on Jun 16, 2019 11:11:00 AM
Evie Shafner, LMFT

Imago_Relationships-Divorce_Proof_Your_Marriage-6_Easy-Steps-1

There are so many positive suggestions about managing conflict and how to divorce-proof your marriage. As an Imago Relationship therapist for over 25 years, I have seen many marriages go the distance, and there are definitely some key things that the marriages that make it have in common. Here are 6 easy steps on how to resolve conflict and minimize any marriage issues you and your partner may have.

1. Go to bed angry, it's OK sometimes.

We all know what it's like to be in the thick of a disagreement with our partner late at night; we are exhausted, and we stay up till 2 in the morning going round and round, to no avail. Go to sleep, surrender, wake up and let the light of a new day bring perspective back into your mind. It’s even possible you don't need to revisit the situation anymore, as both people may feel different with some sleep and a new perspective.
 

2. Be the Soother if a fight starts.  

Rather than having to react and defend, be willing to listen, bring kindness and empathy. In Imago, we learn to dialogue at those moments—in other words, be bigger then your partner's negativity—bigger as in showing more love. Humor at these moments can really help. 
 

3. Go the distance.

In order to go the distance in your relationship and to further prevent marriage issues, fighting needs to be a seldom occurrence in your marriage. Fighting can cause too much damage in the long run.
 

4.  DON'T CRITICIZE—Ever!

When in the history of the world has criticism ever helped in any situation? Never—it's not helpful, and it's only hurtful. Anything you are criticizing your partner about, they probably already feel badly without your comment.
 

5.  Be a Positive Mirror for your partner. 

Reflect back to your partner, the beauty of their being and all their best and most wonderful traits—how handsome/beautiful they are, why you married them, etc. Your opinion means more to them than anyone else in the world. Water your partner and they will bloom right before your eyes. Speak glowingly about them in front of friends and family. They'll bloom exponentially.
 

6. Hold on to yourself. 

Keep your friends, your interests, your own passions—they don't have to match your partner's. My husband is a historian, loves to bike ride, watch the news—I don't do any of those things. He is not involved in my design world, all my spiritual reading, and that is just fine. These differences continue to bring energy and aliveness into our marriage. And we don't need their approval and they don't need ours. Just a mutual admiration and respect. 
 
Maybe it can be summed up by the mission statement my husband and I created for our marriage from this quote by the Dali Lama:
"Be kind whenever possible."
It is ALWAYS possible. If you both practice that, who wouldn't want to stay together in that space forever?
 
If you need more help with divorce-proofing your marriage, we're here to help. Check out our workshops, therapists, and facilitators!
 
Connect. Transform. Thrive.
 

Evie_Shafner_LMFTThis blog post was written by Evie Shafner, LMFT.
 
With a degree in clinical psychology in hand, Evie started private practice in 1979, as a licensed MFT. She was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Women’s Therapy Center, where she worked for over 20 years.
 
Evie began training in Imago Relationship Therapy in the 90’s, getting certified in 1994. Evie then went on to become an advanced clinician in Imago, a workshop presenter, and has served on the Board of Imago Relational International for the last 6 years.
 

Topics: Managing Conflict, Resolve Conflict, Marriage Issues

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The Imago Relationships Blog features content from our team of professional therapists, workshop presenters and facilitators who are passionate about helping you discover a new way to communicate and love your life.

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