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Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach – Stages of Conflict

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Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach – Stages of Conflict

Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach – Stages of Conflict

Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach notes that understanding the stages of marital conflict is useful for all to understand.   What follows are the  eight escalating stages of conflict in marriage.  If you determine that you and your spouse are at stage 4 or beyond, you should seriously consider marriage counseling or therapy].

1.  (Sometimes) An Uncomfortable Feeling
Something doesn’t feel right with your spouse. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you feel ill at ease.  [This is very common according to Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach].

2.  A Problem Between The Two Of You Emerges
An identifiable problem has emerged. Dealing with the problem now becomes the focus. Each of you are civil and respectful as you share your perspectives. Solutions are proposed and, in most instances, issues are resolved to the satisfaction of you both.

3.  You Differ With Your Spouse
If the issue is not resolved, the conversation changes from what is the best solution to a debate of who is right and who is wrong. Frustration sets in because the attempt to achieve your goals is undermined by your spouse. If each of you makes an effort to see the other’s point of view, the conversation will be constructive. On the other hand, if the matter is not resolved, the dispute can deteriorate, and at least for the moment, put strain on the relationship.

4.  A Dispute To Win Over Your Spouse
Good will and collaboration wanes. Other issues may emerge or re-emerge, making matters worse. The two of you begin to communicate less to each other and more about each other with those who sympathize with you (i.e. other family members, friends, co-workers). This may serve to increase the polarization both of you are feeling. And while there may not be an intent to hurt your spouse, it may occur. Because the overriding goal is to win the argument, there is less concern about how winning impacts your partner. As each spouse seeks to achieve his or her goals, the other feels like his or her interests are being all-too-readily dismissed or sacrificed. Action then begets counteraction.

5.  A Verbal Attack Directed Toward Your Spouse
A power struggle emerges. Though you are a couple, you also see yourselves as adversaries. When this happens, watch out! An invisible line is crossed that does not bode well for the future of the relationship. Original issues and context now become secondary. At this stage, the problem is no longer identified as just some issue, but as your spouse. “You are the problem.” A “me versus you” mentality sets in. Emotions rise. Selective perception confirms and fuels negative stereotyping. Once this happens, your spouse can be “written-off” as _____ (fill in the blank). You avoid each other and assume the worst of the other. In the absence of direct communication, each views his husband or wife through an increasingly distorted filter of suspicion, exaggeration, misinformation, and misperceptions.

You each justify your own hostile behavior as reactions to your mate (and/or external circumstances). By contrast, the actions of your spouse are attributed to internal deficiencies, such as their character, competency, or spirituality. Admission of having exercised poor judgment or of having made a mistake becomes increasingly unlikely. In this charged environment, such an acknowledgment would likely open oneself to embarrassment, further criticism, and reprisal. Offense becomes the best defense as ach verbally attacks the other.

Resistance intensifies against the other’s ideas, even if valid, simply because of who proposed them. Communication breaks down. Unilateral acts become the next logical step which inevitably lead to an escalation of the conflict.  [Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach as well as marriage counseling bonita springs state that if you haven’t done so by now, you should seriously consider contacting a marriage counselor or marriage therapist.  This stage represents a tipping point in your marriage for the wose].

6. My “Face” To Save
The term “face” refers to how a person is viewed by others. As long as someone is viewed as respectable and trustworthy, all is well. But when one’s image is seriously challenged, expect the conflict to escalate even further.

To have one’s image challenged is to be attacked on a very personal level. The attacker seeks to “unmask” the other spouse’s true (and despicable) identity. With this new perspective, words or actions that originally were perceived in a positive light are now viewed as part of a larger, deceitful strategy. False motives are attributed throughout. The conflict is no longer understood in terms of shades of gray. It is perceived in terms of black and white and a battle of good versus evil.

To “save face” against such an attack on one’s identity, people will respond with an equally ferocious assault of their own. A torrent of negative descriptions will be unleashed, attempting to undercut and discredit their mate. They will label the other as unreasonable, immoral, untrustworthy, mentally unbalanced, sub-human, and the like. This conclusion then justifies almost any action against the other person, exacerbating the cycle of conflict to dangerous levels.

7. The Road To Divorce
Couples become locked in an all-or-nothing battle. The relationship has become unbearable. The perceived solution is either to drive your husband or wife out of the home or you leave. Or, the conflict may be so intractable and irrational that one or both of you would rather suffer loss than let the other “win.” As one individual soberly described it, notes Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach , “Together into the abyss they go.” Of course, if there are children, you take them with you!

8. After the Divorce
When the dust settles, the lives of those who were involved or indirectly impacted by the conflict may be adversely affected for years to come. For some, divorcing the other person is still not enough. The ruination of your former spouse’s reputation may continue long after the marriage is over. By contrast, others express shame and bewilderment for what they have said or done. They may lose confidence in themselves for having lost control of themselves, says Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach.

Both Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach and cape coral marriage counseling point out that two intensifying processes in the escalating conflict take place. Conflict usually begins with an increasing frustration over one or more issues that are not getting resolved. As a result, there is an increasingly negative perception by one spouse regarding the character of the other. In the end, the other person is the problem.

There comes a point in ongoing conflict when the best, if not only way to resolve the conflict, is through the help of a third party professional, says Marriage Counseling Fort Myers Beach.   Researchers have found, says marriage counseling naples fl, that there comes a point in ongoing conflict when head-to-head discussions are counter-productive.

If you live in Southwest Florida, including the cities of Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Estero FL, Dr. Ken Newberger, who holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution,  can help. He provides a Cutting-Edge Alternative to Traditional Marriage Counseling.   View the outline to his process by clicking the link highlighted in the first paragraph of this article.  Then call Dr. Newberger at 239-689-4266 for a free phone consultation.

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