Marriage Counseling – Conflict Over Values

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Marriage Counseling – Conflict Over Values


Marriage CounselingConflicts Over Values in Marriage

Part 2 of 2  (click here for Part 1)

Cape Coral FL Marriage Counseling and Naples FL Marriage Counseling note that some issues are better addressed by going around them instead of attacking them head-on. Values conflicts fall into this group. To attack someone’s deeply held values is akin to attacking that person’s identity. This is the second of a two-part series dealing with values conflicts in marriage.

Translate Discussion of Intangible Values into One of Tangible Interests

To do this, explains the counselors engaged in Naples FL Marriage Counseling as well as Estero FL Marriage Counseling consider these three strategies:

(a) Beliefs and values are reflected in the real world. Therefore, you can examine related interests that can be satisfied without attacking your spouse’s values. In other words, find agreement, not in the values, but in the satisfaction of interests which reflect those values. For example, a wife feels Sunday morning worship is very important. The husband does not. The husband chooses to go to the gym on Sunday mornings which still allows the couple to enjoy the rest of the day together, a value that is important to them both.

(b) Clarify and prioritize values by order of importance. Not all values are as closely held as others, note Ft Myers Florida Marriage Counseling and Fort Myers Beach Marriage Counseling. In order to make peace with your spouse, show flexibility in those areas that don’t undercut your core identity. You prefer not to eat red meat, but are willing to do so when having dinner at your spouse’s parents home so as not to cause an avoidable problem. In this case, you drop a demand associated with one value in order to fulfil another value which, under the circumstances, has higher priority.

(c) There are times when your marriage partner causes friction because he or she is NOT acting in accordance with their value (and you wish they would). In such cases, suggest the counselors at Marriage Counseling Cape Coral and Marriage Counseling Fort Myers point out to your spouse that his or her stated values are at variance with their behavior in order to bring their behavior in line.

Find Agreement in Greater, Shared Goals

Search for overarching values that bridge the spouses’ differences. Parents may, for example, set aside what is important to them as individuals in order to meet what they both consider to be a higher value, the well-being of their kids. In such instances, new, transcendent values can be established.

Refer Conflict to an Outside Third Party

Marriage counselors and marital mediators are excellent resources to help couples resolve issues when they have not been able to constructively deal with them on their own, note Bonita Springs Marriage Counseling and Fort Myers Marriage Counseling. However, by design, marriage counselors and mediators do not have the authority to decide for a couple. When a couple comes to an impasse, even in situations that involve differences in values, they can agree to leave a final decision to a trusted third party, such as an arbitrator. This route is one of last resort. But if the transcending value is to maintain the relationship and maintain peace, there are occasions when this route is needed.

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Are you experiencing conflict in your marriage? Dr. Ken Newberger, who holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution stands ready to help. He works with couples from Fort Myers Naples, Cape Coral, Estero, and Bonita Beach FL. He offers a unique alternative to traditional marriage counseling. View his process at You have nothing to lose and perhaps a marriage to save.

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