Stop fighting! My 10-step checklist for conflict resolution in your marriage and beyond // Episode 43

What are we talking about today?

Do you enjoy conflict with your loved ones? Of course not!

Conflict is no fun… but it is inevitable. And there are solutions. 

As a therapist (not to mention a mom and a wife!) I am all too familiar with the pain of dealing with conflict. We all go through it.

That’s why we’re looking today at my 10-step checklist for conflict resolution with your loved ones.

Ready to get on the same page with the people you love the most? Let’s dive in, friend. 

Listen to Episode 43:

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.]

Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 19 // Start resolving conflict in your marriage TODAY by managing difficult conversations with less stress and more peace
  • Episode 25 // Improve your communication skills with these 5 helpful tips to become a great listener
  • Episode 31 // Keep your cool, mama! Here’s my quick 4-step process for handling frustration and impatience with my kids… no yelling, door slamming, or anger management necessary.
  • Episode 35 // Do you want happy relationships? Let’s talk about the need for REALISTIC expectations of yourself and others

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful!

  • Grab a copy of my FREE Conflict Resolution Checklist. This will give you all 10 points of today’s conversation, in a handy 2-page PDF that you can pull up on your phone or print and tape to the fridge, so that in the heat of the moment, all you need to do it grab and go. 

Two more resources for you… since two of the biggest areas of conflict in a marriage are sex and finances.

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

We probably all know that conflict is inevitable in a relationship. People simply have different opinions, perspectives, backgrounds, and values. 

Even in our own family!

I’m going to lean into the marriage relationship here, but these 10 steps will be helpful for any relationship where conflict keeps coming up. 

This is definitely an episode where you’ll get a lot more value from listening to the whole podcast episode… so scroll back up and hit play!

  • Since emotions are typically the biggest problem in conflict resolution, make sure that you grab a FREE copy of my 10-point Conflict Resolution Checklist so you have it on hand whenever tension is rising.  It will be really helpful to pull out when things get heated… rather than trying to remember all 10 points in the middle of your high emotions!

Since we’re using marriage as our example today, let me start with a little info about marital conflict in particular.

The 4 most common disagreements in marriage

In the full podcast episode, I give a lot of examples about how conflict looks in a marriage and how the 10 steps below work in that context.

So let me just point out the 4 areas where conflict is most common in marriage: sex

  • finances
  • parenting decisions
  • extended family issues

If these are issues in your marriage, you are not alone! This is really common. 

This podcast focuses heavily on parenting and family decisions. So, I hope this is a great resource for the last 2 items on that list!

If you need help improving your sex life within your marriage, check out these digital courses from Sheila Wray Gregoire, the “Christian sex lady.” She is funny, relatable, and very helpful. 

And if finances is the big pressure point in your marriage, check out Dave Ramsey’s financial help. He has a ton of experience and available resources.

The 10 steps of conflict resolution

Shall we dive in? Let’s go, friend. 

  1. Define the problem. Clarify together, what exactly are we disagreeing about?
  2. Label that problem in one sentence. Get specific enough that this is possible! Don’t fight about 12 things at once. 
  3. Look for a place of agreement. Where is the common ground? Start there for finding a solution or resolution. 
  4. As you talk, paraphrase or summarize the other person’s point of view. This shows you are listening and helps you better understand their perspective. 
  5. Try to also understand their emotions or values in the situation. This is not to judge them, but to understand them. 
  6. State your views calmly and clearly. Avoid lecturing or rambling on… this will only confuse the conversation. 
  7. When you move into problem-solving, start by brainstorming together a list of possible solutions WITHOUT evaluating pros and cons (yet). You need everyone’s ideas on the list. The longer the list, the better. 
  8. Now, evaluate the pros and cons of each option. Is it realistic? Try to find the positive. Avoid criticism. 
  9. Based on that evaluation, agree together on a specific plan of action. Who will do what? When will it happen? How will you follow up?
  10. Remember… if a solution is not needed, don’t force the issue. Some disagreements are not a problem to be solved, it’s a chance to better understand each other. 

There you have it, my friend! When conflict starts to build in your marriage (or any relationship), pull out this checklist and walk through the steps. 

Following a checklist like this can really help us keep our emotions under control. 

Don’t forget to grab a free copy of this checklist so you can pull it out whenever you need it!

Hey, before you go!

  • Join us in our private Facebook Group! This free community is all about engaging, encouraging, and equipping each other as sisters in Christ.
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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.