How to Resolve Conflicts (Part 1)
My goal for your marriage is for you and your spouse to be in love with each other.
With love, marriage is sensational. Without it, it's hell. So every time I tackle marital conflict, I stress the importance of resolving it in a way that builds the feeling of
love in marriage.
The Policy of Joint Agreement
All of my Q&A columns offer solutions to problems through negotiation
mutual agreement as the goal. I define that objective in my Policy of Joint
(never do anything without an
enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse). But I have received
wondering if this goal is reasonable. Can a husband and wife be expected to
everything? And agree enthusiastically? So I posted the column, Having Trouble with the Policy of Joint
Agreement? In this
column I not only discuss the Policy of Joint
Agreement, but I also describe my Four Guidelines for Negotiation. When you
with these guidelines, you can't help but solve your problem.
Incompatibility is at the core of marital conflict. How
to Survive Incompatibility is a column that introduces the problem of
incompatibility, and offers the Policy of Joint
Agreement as a general solution. The problem of incompatibility and the
are readdressed in Following the Policy of
When You're VERY Incompatible.
Your First Year of Marriage
First things first. How to Thrive
(or Survive) after the
First Year of Marriage is designed to help you avoid the most common
during and after the honeymoon. The way you make decisions right after
either set you on a course toward compatibility and mutual love, or on a
course that leads
A column that deals with conflict that often occurs in the first year of marriage is The Mother-in-law.
Should You Have Children?
One of the important questions asked after marriage is Should We Have Children? This column
difficult it can be for some couples to answer. Did you marry to spend your
each other or to have children? Sometimes you can't have both.
Your First Baby
Once your first child arrives, you may wonder How to
Thrive (or Survive) after Your First Baby. This column focuses attention
decisions you are forced to make that will change your
Unless you create your new lifestyle to bring both you and your spouse closer
your child may be raised by only one parent.
It doesn't take long before your baby reaches an age when training is
How should you and your spouse discipline your child? In a way that builds
love for each
other. That's my answer to the questions I post in How to
Raise Children and Keep Love in Your Marriage. You will find that
discipline that keeps love in your marriage also puts your child on a
successful course in
Raising your own children is difficult enough, but raising someone
has proven to be almost impossible for many spouses. That's one of the
divorce is so likely in a blended family. But divorce is not inevitable, and
can be raised in a way that preserves the feeling of love of the parents.
It's all explained
in How to Raise Children in a Blended
Family and Keep
Love in Your Marriage.
Dividing Domestic Responsibilities
With children come responsibilities. With responsibilities comes
conflict over who's responsible. I address this touchy issue in two columns,
How to Divide Domestic Responsibilities (Part
1) and How to Divide Domestic Responsibilities
(Part 2). In this
age of dual income families, the method I suggest solves a problem that
become a national crisis. As these columns illustrate, my solution to this
problem is often
met with ridicule. All I ask is that couples give it a chance to prove
itself. Granted, my
plan is certainly not intuitive, but it works.
A career should enhance your marriage, and not diminish it. Yet, many
careers that makes it almost impossible to have a good marriage. When a
couple is starting
out in life, the choice of a career can often make or break their marriage.
So I address this
important issue in, How to Develop Your
Career and Keep
Love in Your Marriage. Even if your career is already in place, you
should make sure
that it helps make your marriage successful. One good test is the Policy of
Is your spouse enthusiastic about it?
What would a marriage be without disagreements over money? There are so
ways to spend it, and so little of it to go around. It's been said that the
#1 cause of divorce
is financial conflict. It's not true, but it's certainly an area of conflict
that can bring a
marriage down. How to Resolve Financial
Keep Love in Your Marriage is a column that will help you gain
perspective on your
financial decisions. Unless you make these decisions with each other's
feelings in mind,
I guarantee that you will lose love for each other, and probably lose most of