Disputes in the Family: 15 Steps to a Constructive Dialogue
Family life is full of various situations, which often lead to disagreements between spouses. While waiting for the baby, arguments can cause many small things: how to name the child, where to give birth, what wheelchair to choose ... How can we learn to argue so that we do not quarrel and make joint decisions peacefully?
Maria Konovalova Psychologist, Yakhroma
Agree that without disputes in family life is unlikely to get along. After all, it is impossible to have the same opinion on all issues. The emergence of disputes in the family is quite natural, since their participants are ordinary people, with their own characteristics of character, attitudes and stereotypes. The main thing is that the dispute does not escalate into a family quarrel. It differs from the dispute by the presence of uncontrollable emotions, which prevent any arguments from being accepted and come to a mutual solution.
In some families, spouses argue violently and often, and in others - disagreements are resolved more calmly. Why? It's all about the perception and behavior of the "opposing" sides. And it is quite realistic to learn how to communicate your point of view to the partner with the least loss for the relationship.
Why do we swear?
Maxim and I got married a few years ago. Everything went well, even romance in the relationship remained. However, "thunder burst", where not expected. Soon after I told my husband about pregnancy, our marriage seems to have cracked. I do not understand why we constantly quarrel. This pregnancy was very welcome, and, like, now should be the happiest time for both of us! But disputes in the family, turning into scandals, arise almost every day. Here is an example. I do not want to take used things. This is our first child! Why should he be worn for someone, ride in other people's carriages? And Maxim thinks otherwise. From his nephew (he is now 2 years old) a lot of all kinds of clothes can go, he believes, in a normal state. That we can not decide how to spend a vacation in my position, then we'll quarrel on the topic "where to give birth". It seems to me that Maxim does not understand what I feel, and he says that I'm not trying to take his opinion into account.
Katia, 26 years old
Pregnancy really often becomes for a married couple not only a joyful event, but also a certain test. After all, during this period the way of life of the spouses changes, they again adapt to the changes in relations, form new views on the future. The reasons for the emergence of disagreements can be conditionally divided into several groups:
Perception of pregnancy. The pregnancy itself, its course, everything "can and can not" relating to this period, are often perceived by partners differently. For example, a husband can consider that pregnancy is a natural state of a woman, so she does not need a special relationship, and the wife, on the contrary, perceives the expectation of the child as a miracle, so she is convinced that they should "blow off dust particles". Or the future mother, overwhelmed with the consciousness of her own exclusivity, insists that she be released from all domestic duties or, let's say, her pregnancy was conducted in a commercial perinatal center. And the husband, on the contrary, considers, that in female consultation doctors not less experienced and there is no sense in such expenditure.
Household issues related to the birth of a child. This is the need to buy certain things, and the attitude to second-hand things, and the question of repair - to do before the birth of a baby or not, etc. Quite often it happens that both spouses consider their point of view to be the only true one and insist on it, leading the dispute to the conflict.
Moral and ethical differences. For some couples, the theme of pregnancy and childbirth becomes the stumbling block: the decision how to give birth - together with the husband or not, to whom and when to inform about the upcoming replenishment, to show the baby right after birth or should the certain time pass? Often, disputes between spouses cause a mismatch of opinions about their behavior and responsibilities in the role of father and mother, as well as approaches to the upbringing of the baby, which seems to be still quite remote for the "pregnant" couple, but sometimes provoking equally heated debate than current issues.
With a discount on pregnancy
It happens that the character of the future mother is not changing for the better. Pregnancy and associated changes in the body and psyche of a woman often make her excessively irritable, suspicious, whiny and anxious. The mood of the future mother sometimes varies with great amplitude and speed. She can become thoughtful and immersed in herself or vice versa, overly active. What used to be familiar and beloved can now irritate and bring to tears.
Such "jumps" in the mood of the future mother often prevent her from constructing a constructive dialogue with her. Especially difficult for those couples in which the woman was previously very calm and reasonable, and with the onset of pregnancy, it became noticeably more capricious and emotional. In this case, the couple needs more time and energy to realize the changes and adapt to them.
However, such nuances of the psychological state of a pregnant woman do not mean that family quarrels are unavoidable. Simply both to the husband, and the most future mum it is necessary to learn to consider new circumstances. The spouse should sometimes ignore the "uneven" behavior of the wife, and she needs to take more critical attitude towards herself and her desires, distinguishing true needs and beliefs from the influence of hormones and emotions.
The main mistakes that cause conflicts in the family
Unfortunately, the emergence of disputes in the family often ends with a rapid clarification of relations and mutual discontent with each other, and all because from time to time the spouses make the same mistakes:
Search for the guilty. Usually in a dispute, succumbing to their emotions, we forget that the conflict only arises with the participation of both sides. And we, through our flow of accusations against our partner, only "warm up" the situation, sometimes without noticing it.
Excessive protection of one's own interests. Such a defensive position is manifested in the reluctance to yield, recognize some negative character traits (quick temper, uncompromising, demanding, etc.), striving to put their interests above others and at any cost to prove their case. Naturally, in such conditions it is difficult to talk about a peaceful resolution of the disputable situation.
Inability to express your thoughts and feelings. The variations of this problem are many - from the habit of hushing up and not reciting the difficult situation until the transition to personalities during a dispute and even insults. The partners do not develop a habit of discussing their experiences, including negative emotions, but emotions still make themselves felt, only in the form of resentment, nagging, criticism and discontent.
What can we do to prevent disputes in the family from growing into scandals?
At first, you need to take responsibility for your behavior and realize that you are the source of the conflict, including yourself. Try to look at yourself from outside (sometimes for this purpose it will not be superfluous to go to the mirror during an active dispute or listen to its dictaphone record) and evaluate your behavior and the adequacy of the reactions.
Secondly, having analyzed their own traits and habits, you need to prioritize. What is more important for you: healthy and strong relations in the family or keeping your manner of response unchanged? Ability to show flexibility, to give in, to respect the point of view of another is a sign of wisdom and maturity of personality, and the desire to seek compromise is the best proof of love.
Well, and thirdly, in order to get a "good" result of the dispute, it is necessary to learn how to lead it in a constructive way.
Technology constructive dispute
- Choose the right time. Try to find for the conversation such a time when you are not tired, not irritated, not immersed in your own problems and do not hurry anywhere. This will be the key to a future joint solution, not a conflict.
- Clearly indicate the topic of the conversation. It is important to focus on the subject that you intend to discuss (for example, "to buy new things for the baby or to use second-hand things"), and to understand what exactly is the disagreement, i.e. to realize the position of each other.
- Set a goal for yourself. We also need to specify the result to which you both want to come: "Let's discuss this issue today and finally we will make a decision so that there will not be more disputes on this topic." This designation of the "final point" will help to rationalize the dispute.
- Try to avoid common phrases and "You-statements" ("You are always ...", "You are nothing ...", etc.).. First of all, trying to convey your thoughts to your partner, refrain from insults and hysterical notes in your voice. Describe specific facts through the "I-messages". For example: "I notice that you are not at all interested in children's things, do not look at shops, and when I start showing you something, you pretend to be busy."
- Point out the possible consequences of an unwanted behavior (situation). Do not frustrate the charges, in an accessible form, describe what can lead to what you listed. "As a result, we often quarrel, but have not prepared anything for the birth of a child, and it may be that this situation will continue after childbirth, and the kid does not need to clarify the relationship."
- Describe in detail your feelings. You can use figurative expressions in order to better describe your spouse's state. "I am offended by this behavior, I feel lonely and unhappy, it seems to me that we are moving away from each other, and I'm afraid that you are not so waiting for the appearance of our baby."
- Give arguments. Express your opinion, accompanying it not so much with the words "I want", but as valid justifications. Why is it important for you to buy new things? What are you worried about in the used ones? For example: "I have an aversion to worn things, because it is not known how they were used. We have enough money to afford to buy everything new, we do not dress ourselves in the second hand, although there are also many things in the normal state. In addition, the new one will last longer, and it will be exactly suitable, and we will be able to choose quality things ourselves. "
- Share your wishes. Tell us what exactly you expect from your husband, because often spouse and others sincerely do not understand your desires, because you do not voice them. For example: "I really want you to understand and support me so that we find a compromise and jointly and with pleasure prepare for the birth of the baby."
- The praise. Any phrase that switches the conversation from your desires and feelings to a partner and your attitude towards it will help to turn the dispute into a positive channel and prevent the escalation into a family quarrel: "No one but you can understand me better, and yours are very dear to me attention and care. "
- Apologize if you are to blame. If you yourself were in some way wrong or broke into insults, do not hesitate to admit your guilt. Everyone has the right to make a mistake, but not everyone has the courage to admit it and ask for forgiveness.
- Listen carefully to your partner. Try to understand what feelings the husband feels, than is unhappy. Try to think and analyze his arguments. Perhaps, a little detached from their desires, you will agree that the words of the spouse have common sense, and he acts not against you, but for the benefit of the family.
- Find a compromise. Take a pen and a sheet of paper and write down all the arguments on the topic in two columns, for example: "for new things" (they will meet our requirements, aesthetic and hygienic, last longer, etc.) and "for second-hand things" (the child quickly grows up and does not have time to wear out, saving money for other purposes, etc.). Then discuss each argument in terms of its objectivity and reality. Let's say that if you agree to take a stroller from relatives or friends, there really is a chance to face fast breakdowns and inconveniences, especially if you have objective requirements for this thing (weight, size, folding system, etc.), but children's clothing for newborns usually remains in good condition, since the kids are not wearing it too much. Determine what is your priority for both of you. For example, if it turns out that it is not important for the spouse what kind of children's things will be, but he considers the price of new goods unreasonably high. Proceeding from this, it is necessary to determine what price limits will be acceptable for it. Perhaps you can find the right options for shopping.
- Summarize the conversation. It is very important to note to what result you both came during the conversation, so that next time you do not start to re-establish relations on the same issue. The clash of the opinions of the spouses is a natural phenomenon that should not overshadow the family life, especially during pregnancy and the birth of the baby. Therefore, it is important to learn how to resolve disputes peacefully and productively in time.
- More humor! To irritation has subsided and there is a desire to unite, you can use a creative approach. Try to make your partner smile, even if you do not laugh. Let's say you can express your emotions with facial expressions and gestures, making a funny grimace, or remembering an anecdote to the place.
- Letter of happiness. Sometimes it is difficult to clothe your indignation with words, so an epistolary genre will become a wand-pinch. Write a letter - paper or electronic - everyone can. Briefly, on business and without gross charges. End the message better somehow optimistic or put a smile.