Conflict is a fact of life. As long as we are living with on this earth and around other human beings, disagreements are unavoidable. There are no two people who think, feel and act exactly the same- not even twins.  Therefore, in a marriage or family, when two people with different personalities, ideas, interests and behaviors form a marriage, conflicts are certain to occur.  Why do conflicts happen in a marriage and family?  The answer is simple- we are human beings imperfect people whom God graciously loves in spite of our weaknesses and flaws.  All of us have our own desires, needs, and expectations in life.  Whenever any of these differs from another, conflict may develop at any given time.  Our differences vary according to our ages, educational levels, spiritual maturity, and socio-economic backgrounds.  The conflicts that happen in our lives are not the problems, but our reaction and attitude to the conflict is similar in many ways. 


Conflicts either strengthen or weaken our marriage relationship.  When a conflict happens, we can allow it to hurt us and our marriage and family, or use it as an opportunity for growth and healing.  I believe that there is a solution to every disagreement or conflict. For more discussion on this topic, you may refer to my book, “Intercultural Communication: Impacts on Marriage and Family Relationships.” The big question is, “Is everyone willing to accept it?” Below are some tips on conflict management.


  1. Express your irritations and annoyance in a loving, specific, and positive way rather than holding them in or being negative.
  1. Do not exaggerate or attack the other person during the course of disagreement.
  1. Express your hurts and frustrations in a controlling manner (no yelling, cursing, throwing things or causing physical harm).
  1. Never let the sun go down on your anger.  Resolve your conflict in a productive way as soon as possible.
  1. Try hard not to interrupt the other person when he/she in talking.
  1. Listen carefully to the other person when he/she is talking (rather than spending that time thinking up a defense).
  1. Do not bring up the past problems of the other person in the course of argument.
  2. When something is important enough for one person to discuss, it is that important for the other person.  So, make the effort to have a fruitful discussion.


Copyright 2013 Dr. Youd Sinh Chao. All Rights Reserved.