Avoiding conflict may make matters worse

Each couple has their unique chemistry. Some resolve all their issues with businesslike efficiency, some engage in constant bickering, some have “loud” discussions and then reconcile. Whatever the approach, the key for effectively resolving a marital issue is to respect each other and display an empathetic attempt to understand what the other spouse feels.

Positives to healthy disagreements include:

  • Disagreements get issues out into the open
  • Disagreements can improve communication
  • Disagreements can help couples work through an issue

Leaving things unsaid

According to relationship experts, one of the biggest dangers to a marriage is not the disagreements, because those are a natural part of marriage and parenting, but spouses who take extreme measures to avoid conflict. A spouse who is thinking something but not saying it to their spouse leaves it unsaid. While this may be prudent if the thought is mean-spirited or counterproductive, not saying things tends to leave them unresolved. Unresolved issues often mean that the relationship cannot progress healthily and naturally. It also leads to unhappiness that can doom a marriage.

Excessive gift-giving is another sign of avoidance

Gifts are always nice as long as they are affordable and appropriate. However, relationship experts believe that excessive gift-giving is a red flag. A spouse lavishing the other spouse with gifts may have ulterior motives. It can be a method for one spouse to establish dominance or control in the relationship. It also may be a pattern where a spouse gives a gift to sugarcoat potential points of contention or believe that the other spouse will see the relationship in a more positive light. The pattern can be both financially and emotionally damaging to the marriage if it is a recurring theme.

Necessary versus unnecessary arguments

Arguing with a spouse forces them to listen to something they may not want to hear. The key to positive arguments is that the couple listen to each other and take these encounters seriously. Matters that are discussed and resolved can become building blocks to a stronger relationship and reduce the chances of repeating the same dispute topic. They may, however, also broach issues that are unresolvable and point where you wonder if the marriage will survive.

Whether it is unresolvable issues or damaging behavior, these kinds of action are the sign of a marriage that is in trouble. Those with questions about divorce are advised to consult with an attorney who has experience handling family law matters here in Colorado.

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