There are two types of marital conflict. 68% of the conflict is perpetual, something that because of personality or values you can't (or won't) change. The other type of conflict is solvable. The first step to overcoming conflict is to determine what kind of conflict it is. I will start with solvable.
1. Use a soft startup. You kids know and practice this all the time with Randy and I. You start out with something like, Now don't get mad... or you soften us up someway. You need to complain without blame. You may be justified in blaming but it is not productive. You also need to avoid contempt or critisism. If you let these kinds of conflict go on then you eventually blow up over some insignificant thing.
2. Use "I" statements to tell how you are feeling and describe what is happening without judgment. Be clear in your communication (they can't read minds). Be polite (imagine you are e appreciative of the efforts they do make to build a good relationship.
3. Learn to recieve and make repair attempts. These are things that help you get back on the right track like, Let's start over, or touching them or saying, I need a time out.
4. Soothe yourself and each other. It's harder for men to physically calm down when they get angry (about 20 minute) so give them some time. Ask them how you can help them and what you do that sets them off. Then honor that and don't use that against them.
5. Compromise. Honestly consider their point of view and ask questions so you understand their perspective. Accept their influence. You married them because you valued their opinions so trust them to give you some guidance sometimes.
6. Be tolerant of their faults. We all have them you know. Pres. Hinkley said that most marriages require a high level of mutual tolerance. I have found that to be true in mine. (Although Randy is pretty close to perfection :} it helps to just give them a few allowances from time to time.
I have learned alot about marriage from observing all of you with your marriage challenges. You have what it takes to create strong, resliliant marriages and I learn different skills by watching each one of you. Thanks for your good examples. We love you all.
Tithing Sharing Time
4 years ago