"Contrary to popular belief, itís not how
much you love each other that can best predict the future of your relationship,
but how conflicts and disagreements are handled. Unfortunately, conflict is
inevitable--it canít be avoided. So if you want to have a good marriage, you
better learn to fight right." Fighting
for Your Marriage
"David Olson of the University of Minnesota,
who has studied over 15,000 married couples, recently said that 50% of married
people will never be happy, unless they get unusually good therapy. Other
researchers agree (Strean, 1985); about 30% of marriages are "empty
shells"--little love, little talk, little joy. . . . Only about 25% of
couples have "really good marriages." The
remaining 25% could achieve a good marriage if they got therapy and/or really
worked on obtaining the necessary skills via training or marriage enrichment
(or, you can add, self-help). . . . ."Olson believes the needed skills and
characteristics are: communication skills, conflict resolution skills, compatible
personality, agreement on values and religion, and good sex."
not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it."
These situations can in themselves cause
- If you felt pressured to get married.
- If you married someone not of your faith.
- If you got married because your were lonely or
- If you married someone with a totally
different view about life.
- If you only got married to fulfill your
- If you go married for someone to fill your
emotional or spiritual emptiness.
- If you got married to someone who is sexually
- If you got married so you can be a happy
- If you married someone with children from
- If you married someone who is not as
intelligent as you are.
A Key Cause of Marital Conflict
"Surveys show that 80 percent of divorced couples in their twenties and
thirties claim that financial problems were the major destructive factor in
their marriages." Winter 1997-98 issue
of Stewardship Journal.
84% of married
"Having children reduces our marital satisfaction."
Arguing/Conflict affects women
differently than men.
Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioral
" . . . . Even after husbands and wives have
stopped arguing, the battle may still be raging within the woman's body. It can
do so for hours, altering her hormone levels and weakening her immune system to
the point where illness could gain a foothold. . . . . "This discovery,
based on a long-running study of newlywed couples, is forcing researchers to
rethink their understanding of marital conflicts. It could also have important
implications for the physical, as well as emotional, health of married couples.
. . .Earlier research suggested that men generally seek to "tune out"
their wives during an argument, seeking to escape or withdraw from the conflict.
Wives, on the other hand, are seen as being more likely to complain, criticize
or demand change in a relationship. The husband's withdrawal is acutely
frustrating to these women.
Blood analysis showed that among women who reacted
negatively to their husbands' withdrawal during the arguments, the average
levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and prolactin all rose. The more
negative the wife's response and her husband's withdrawal, the greater the
hormone level rise.
"If those hormone levels stay up long enough,
it can have immune consequences," explained Ronald Glaser, professor of
medical microbiology and immunology. Earlier work by Institute researchers has
shown that psychological stress can cause weakened immune responses and a
slowing of wound healing. . . . .We're not saying that conflicts in marriage are
bad necessarily. They're completely normal. It's the way the couples disagreed
that was later related to a rise in hormone levels and a drop in immune