Wives hold the key with disarming marital conflicts - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Wives hold the key with disarming marital conflicts in successful marriages

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A study done at Berkeley has found that when it comes to keeping the peace in a marriage, the woman is the key. Women, not men, were more important when it came to determining marital satisfaction after a heated argument. Although research supported that both men and women calm down after conflict, men's ability to calm down quickly did not affect marital satisfaction. When women calmed quickly after an argument, it was a main factor with determining marital satisfaction and happiness. This study was researched with adults in their late thirties, forties and older, and therefore, they may not be the same for younger married couples.

This is fascinating because most of us have grown up with stereotypes depicting woman to be quieter, more nurturing and the peacemaker of the family. Although this is a generalization, it is one we have seen played out in many marriages. With more and more women working and couples sharing the workload, will we continue to see this pattern? Women still initiate the majority of divorces, and although many of them blame the man's behavior as the primary reason for divorce, it is evident that women are catalysts for marital change and satisfaction.

Feminists argue that it should not be their job to keep the peace or calm down quickly after a conflict in order to save their marriage. This article isn't saying that. This article talks about the importance of women learning how to argue with men and how to resolve conflict. It is also affording women the power to make a difference in resolving conflict. This article talks about the importance of using constructive criticism and basically points out that woman aren't as affected by men's words or emotions as they are by women's. That puts the power and control back into the woman's lap, and she should embrace this rather than fight against it. If women understand that how they deal with conflict can make or break their marriage, isn't that reason enough to make the changes necessary?

If you want to embrace your power to manage a conflict in a way that won't hurt your relationship and will continue to improve your communication, here are a few suggestions:

1. Stay Focused. This article isn't saying to back down with your points when an issue arises. It is supporting the idea that when you are working at resolving a conflict, stay focused on the conflict.

2. Trust your gut. Have an internal awareness when you are getting very angry. At this point stop yourself from continuing. When women talk harshly, it is much more destructive to their man's emotions than when a man talks harshly.

3. Your control helps him stay in control. If you remain in control and leave the conversation feeling good, he will follow your lead. This does NOT work in the reverse.

4. Mentoring for children. When parents fight, children watch. They learn that you can love someone and still not agree with them. This is healthy. They need to learn this. Mentor healthy conflict instead of unhealthy conflict that never gets resolved.

In most cases, if women understood their incredible power to communicate, they would be surprised. Being direct, staying focused and controlling their part is not only wise, but improves every relationship they are in. Losing control, crying, and silent treatment are stereotypically depicted with women. Just because that's how women have communicated in the past, doesn't mean it is the best or the wisest. Communicating effectively is the single biggest predictor of a healthy, loving and happy marriage.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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