web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Part 18 – Conflict Resolution


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

No matter how couples try to make sure everything in their lives is perfect, at some point they may experience conflict in their marriage. Conflict is not as dramatic as it sounds. In marriage, independent of how much you love someone, you may have differing ideas about money or education, preferences, or various special activities you both want to do. Learning how to resolve these differences, appropriately, can avoid prolonged or destructive anger and hostility. Conflict resolution skills include cultivating the right attitude, as well as learning interpersonal techniques.

To begin with, most arguments, on some level, stem from misunderstanding. One spouse might perceive the other’s action, inaction, or words as being unreasonable and inappropriate in a given circumstance. People are quick to take their positions and justify their stands rather than to try to understand the other party. Added to this problem of misunderstanding are feelings of pride where people put up a bold front and avoid giving in to their spouse. In some marriages, a small war might rage for days before the conflict is resolved and in between, tension and unhappiness builds.

Take Rachel 27, and David, 28 who came to speak to me about a fight they were having over how to handle their 8-year-old son, Yosef. Yosef was by all means a rambunctious third-grader who kept his teacher and parents hopping on their toes day and night. Rachel, who had two other young children at home, was feeling overwhelmed dealing with them and Yosef’s ADD-like behavior. She was also upset that her husband, David, came home late from work and wasn’t pulling his weight around the house. The home-related stress was causing conflict and Rachel and David were unable to resolve their problems peacefully.

Understanding Differences in Communication

It is true that many couples like Rachel and David face similar stress-filled situations yet are able to maintain a positive relationship. The difference between Rachel and David and others, is the way they argue and the defensive styles of communication they maintain. Rachel, for example, tends to be very assertive. She’s quick to blame David for the stress she’s feeling at home and berates him from the second he enters the door until the minute they go to sleep. David on the other hand, is an “avoider” who shies away from conflict. He has more of an happy-go-lucky personality and hushes up like an obedient puppy when his wife yells at him. Together, the mixture of Rachel’s competitive style and David’s avoidance of conflict has created a relationship that was low on trust and high on negative feelings.

One way of for Rachel and David to deal with their conflict is through them becoming aware of their negative styles of communication. According to family therapists there are several key styles of communication that people develop: competitive, avoidant, and compromising.

 

 

Competitive Style

When a person uses a competitive style, they tend to be very assertive and interested in getting their own way. They also approach the conflict in a forceful manner without being interested in cooperating with other people, and view their relationship from a win/lose perspective.

People use the competitive style when an issue is very important to them, or when the person has the authority to make the decision, and it seems clear that this is the one best way. They can also become competitive when decisions have to be made fast and the person has power the to make it, as the following dialogue shows:

Moshe (irritated): You didn’t turn off the lights in the bathroom when you were finished. How many times do I have to remind you? Shani (sarcastic tone): Why do you have to make such a big deal about a few cents worth of electricity? Moshe (harshly): Because you’re irresponsible about money, that’s why! Shani (reacting): Maybe you’d save more money if I just moved out.

When someone is competitive, they look upon a family discussion or disagreement as being sort of like a debate or contest.

In a contest, it’s natural for humans to want to score more points than their opponent.

When spouses seek to score points against one another, a family discussion quickly degenerates into a win/lose competition. As disagreement heats up, spouses begin using increasingly abusive comments to “score points.”

Usually these hurtful words do not express what the two spouses really feel about each other.

They’re just caught up in the heat of competition. When the dust settles both spouses wonder how the mess got started in the first place and wish they could take back the words they said. Unfortunately, the “winner” settles down in a cloud of gloom and thinks, “Boy, I won that one! Soooo… how come I feel so bad?”

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Flatbush, Cedarhurst, and Crown Heights. He is a certified PAIRS instructor, and trained as a Level 1, Emotionally Focused Therapist at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and is a member of AASECT. He is the author of At Risk – Never Beyond Reach and First Aid For Jewish Marriages. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com or call 646-428-4723


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Part 18 – Conflict Resolution”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Control may be the most destructive force influencing a marriage. Let me illustrate this point with the following story. About two years ago a woman named Bracha, 47, came to speak to me about her husband’s controlling behavior. This is how she described her precarious situation:

Controlling behavior may be the number one reason that your marriage needs first aid.

If you are unfamiliar with the topic of control, it’s no surprise. Most people are unaware that control is a major issue for counselors, therapists and psychologists-at-large.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/part-18-conflict-resolution/2009/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: