Few things can disrupt your life more than a family issue. Issues and conflicts can escalate and get out of hand quickly when a couple or one partner doesn’t take the other seriously and put an effort into resolving any issue.
Trying to find a solution that satisfies everyone involved and respects everyone’s opinion is easier said than done. Fights and conflicts hurt people’s feelings at best, and they cause anger and frustration.
At worst, they end relationships, sending married couples over the edge and to the brink of divorce. Short-term conflicts can resolve on their own and usually don’t cause any type of permanent damage.
However, the same can’t be said for long-term and standing conflicts that need to be addressed. Even if a resolution isn’t always that easy to find, it doesn’t lessen the fact that there are several things in people’s hands to try and resolve conflicts.
These conflicts can occur under any circumstances, but they do tend to stand out during times of change, which could be a blissful one like the birth of a new baby, or a child becoming a young adult.
Or they could be changes that affect the family dynamic, such as one or both partners that have to travel often for work, changes in financial status, illness, addiction, or a separation. Divorce alone comes with its own set of problems, but it can be handled and resolved quickly.
Here are some of the best methods to resolve family issues and get on with your life.
1Agree to Listen
It should come as no surprise that most people try to make their point and win an argument rather than listen to what the other side has to say. Hearing is one of our senses, listening is a skill to develop; you have to listen to what is being said.
That means not constantly interrupting a person when they’re speaking, and making sure you understand what’s being said. If you don’t understand, ask. That’s what composed people do.
2Problem vs Person
A family issue that needs discussion and compromises should be about the problem, not about the person. Blaming and shaming a person won’t get you anywhere except a dead-end path. If you still value and respect the person, then you have to separate the issue at hand from that person, or else you will both go your separate ways.
Should a divorce happen, you can find even more problems, especially if there are children involved. At this stage, you would need a family lawyer to handle the legal aspects.
You’ll want to learn how a family lawyer can help you concerning your legal rights such as custody, parenting time, and child support. You may also need legal help in knowing what will happen to your financial assets.
In many cases, couples might opt for legal mediation. You can find out more here about legal mediation, which can save you thousands of dollars in attorney fees and help you reach an agreement with your partner. With legal mediation, a judge will not have to decide your fate, as a lawyer can work out the problem areas in your divorce process, without all the drama.
Your partner is every bit as human as you are. Whether it’s an ex-partner or a soon-to-be-ex, you can expect some—or even lots of—irrational and illogical talk and behavior. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is doing this on purpose just to drive you up the wall.
They, too, are hurting and frustrated, which often leads people to say and do things they really don’t mean. You don’t have to assume the worst in the person. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt, and this might make dealing with them and the situation easier on both of you.
4Think Before You Speak
Those few seconds it takes to think before giving your input can spare you a lot of future frustration. Speaking while angry is never a good idea. Shouting merely puts the other person on the defensive side. Never in history, under any circumstances, has a resolution come about by shouting and yelling.
Composed families take a break to cool down, and then come back to the negotiation table and speak in a calm manner, trying to reach a solution. If someone wants to pick a fight, don’t fall for the bait. Keep your cool, even if that means leaving the immediate situation for a while till your nerves calm down.
5Stay in the Here and Now
It’s almost tempting to bring out the old and the new during conflicting times. A mistake made a few years ago is probably not the issue at hand. If it is, that means the issue was never resolved to begin with, and you’re carrying your hurt, disappointed, or angry feelings around with you.
Talking about past mistakes and wrongdoings isn’t going to solve the current problem. Focus on what is happening now and how to manage or handle the current situation.
6Speak for Yourself
Your partner does things for a reason, and so do you. Your role isn’t to assume why people do the things they do. Your role is only to express yourself and tell your partner how their actions make you feel. You cannot tell someone else how they should feel or what they should be doing.
In family conflicts, rarely would either side appreciate the word “should,” which is why you “shouldn’t” do more than speak for yourself and express what you’re feeling and thinking. If it’s too difficult for you to do that, then it’s common for couples to find professional help to navigate through their problems.
Discussing the deepest and most unvoiced feelings doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s one of the reasons why couples will look for a third party to help them resolve their issues. If you need a third voice, it’s crucial that it’s a neutral and fair one. When extreme emotions get the better of you, consider some of these factors before you do or say something you might regret.