How to fill out

Conflict Resolution

Have you ever faced conflicts in your relationship? If not, then you will be surprised at the following statement. Conflict – reality of life. It can be categorized as a strike, argument, or a sharp clash of interests, thoughts, etc. Why do conflicts occur? The answer is simple – we are all imperfect people whom God loves by His mercy, despite our imperfections. Each one of us has our own desires, interests, needs and goals, and if we encounter ones that are opposite, then conflict arises. We are people of different beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Conflicts on their own are not the problem – the problem consists of our attitude and reaction toward them.

In many cases, disputes and conflicts do not require a full resolution. Disagreements regarding political views may serve as an example. This type of disagreement can continue for an undetermined period of time and unnecessarily leads to a collapse of spousal relations.

1. List some topics regarding which you and your fiancé/e have disputes, but which do not require mandatory resolution.

2. What does “full resolution” mean to you?

3. List some issues regarding which you have disagreements, and which demand a resolution.

4. Choose an issue that will take more time to resolve. Explain the situation as you see it.

5. Some people have learned to use some methods of “weaponry” in resolving a conflict. Which of these are unfair?

6. What effect does anger have on the resolution of a conflict? What effect does anger have on your relationship?

Remember that anger arises as a result of three main reasons: resentment, fear, and frustration. What do the following verses from the Holy Scriptures say about how to resolve conflicts?

1) Psalms, 36:1–11

2) Proverbs, 14:29

3) Proverbs, 15:1

4) Proverbs, 15:28

5) Proverbs, 16:32

6) Proverbs, 19:11

7) Proverbs, 25:28

8) Proverbs, 29:11

9) Matt. 5:43-44

10) Rom. 8:28-29

11) Rom. 12:19-21

12) Gal. 5:16-23

13) Ephes. 4:26

14) Ephes. 4:29

15) Ephes. 4:32

16) 1 Peter, 3:9

What are the causes of conflict? See James, 4:1-3.

Analyze your relationship

1. Describe a recent or ongoing conflict between you and your fiancé/e.

2. What, in your opinion, caused the conflict? What was the result? What did it lead to?

3. What is your role in this conflict?

4. Imagine observing a conflict from the other person’s point of view. How would your fiancé/e describe this conflict?

5. If you were to encounter this conflict again, how would you resolve it?

Remember: conflict is a natural part of the development and life of a family. Many conflicts are simply a symptom of something else. Many people do not resolve conflicts openly, because no one has taught them to do so. Conflict has a positive side – it provides an opportunity for developing relationships. Unresolved and suppressed conflicts will still surface and will prevent the growth and strengthening of the relationship.

Five ways to resolve a conflict

Which path do we choose to resolve conflicts? James Fairfield offers five types of conflict resolution.

  • First way – departure. If you consider the conflict as hopelessness and feel that you cannot control it in the least degree, then do not try to do it. You can simply physically “leave the scene” or psychologically remove yourself.
  • If you feel that you should always comply with your interests or if the conflict threatens your positions, then you may choose the second path, the path of victory. No matter what the price, you must win, conquer! The most important thing here – the power of authority; personal relations fade in the background.
  • If you are striving for positive results, then it is necessary to look for signs which may help. “Concede, in order to move on” - this is another, third way of conflict resolution. You don’t like it, but you prefer this method rather than risk the emergence of a confrontation.
  • “Yield a little – and you’ll be able to move forward a little.” This is called a compromise – the fourth way. You may discover how important it is to disown some of your demands or ideas in order to help the other person move forward. You do not always want to win, but don’t want the other person to always win either.
  • Finally, the fifth – the resolution of the conflict. An individual chooses the path of conflict resolution by themselves. In open and direct communication, it is the situation, or the attitude and behavior toward it that should always change.

1. Specify your usual path of conflict resolution.

2. Specify the usual path of conflict resolution that your fiancé/e uses.

3. Describe a situation in which you departed from a conflict. How did other people involved in the conflict react to your behavior?

4. Describe a situation in which you were winning an argument. How did other people involved in the conflict react to your behavior?

5. Describe a situation in which you conceded in a conflict. How did other people involved in the conflict react to your behavior?

6. Describe a situation in which you went for the compromise. How did other people involved in the conflict react to your behavior?

7. Describe a situation in which you were able to completely resolve a conflict. How did other people involved in the conflict react to your behavior?

8. Some issues we should not discuss. Specify which:

9. My fiancé/e does not agree with me on the following points:

10. After a family dispute, who is the first to offer reconciliation?

If you agree with the statements below, check them off
a. Spouses should not keep any secrets from each other.
b. Disputes usually may be resolved if one of the spouses concedes.
c. Many spousal problems arise because of a lack of time for communication.
d. If spouses discover that their relationship is harmed, then they must still find a solution for the problem instead of postponing it.
e. The husband and also the wife must voice their opinion or suggestion.
f. The husband should usually make the final decision if the spouses cannot reach an agreement regarding an issue.
g. I think that my fiancé/e should listen to me more.
h. I feel irritated if my fiancé/e expresses a view contrary to mine.

What to do in a conflict situation

How can you, in this case, resolve a conflict? Think how you could use the following principles.

1. When a conflict arises, do not demand that you be heard, but carefully listen to the other person (Prov. 18:13 and James, 1:19). The necessity of any changes that you want to see in the other person must first be formulated, and then accepted.

2. Choose an appropriate time. (Proverbs, 15:23).

3. Determine the problem. How do you determine the problem and how do others determine it?

4. Determine areas of agreement and disagreement in a conflict.

5. This part is the most difficult. Some arguments may be defined as one-sided. However, in most conflicts, both parties are involved. Determine your role in the conflict. When you accept some of the determined responsibility on yourself, then the other party sees the desire to negotiate and is also ready for discussion.

6. The next step consists of determining what you can contribute to resolving the conflict and if you have the desire to find out the opinion of the other party. If your fiancé/e shares his/her opinion with you, then open your heart to his/her feelings, experiences, and suggestions. Watch that you are protected at the same time!

Counselor's final notes

Click the "Print" button to print a paper copy. If you did not complete the chapter just leave it and come back later. On the completion the chapter follow the link "Next".