Handling Conflict in Marriage

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Disagreements and arguments crop up in even the best marriages. It's how conflict is handled that is an important key to marital success or failure.

Current research confirms that poorly handled conflict between married couples can negatively influence mental, physical, and family health. Feelings of anger, bitterness, and unhappiness (sometimes leading to separation and divorce) often result.

But couples need not settle for these experiences. Partners can realize, as stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, that "marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God" (¶ 1) and that successful and happy marriages "are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities" (¶ 7). Such principles, coupled with an understanding of what conflict is, how to recognize it, and how best to manage it, can help spouses use marriage challenges to build rather than harm their relationship.