When Conflict Avoidance Turns Deadly

There are some couples who may not fight in their relationship,instead they avoid problems. One reason couples stay married even when they avoid conflict is because positive moments outweigh the negative ones. Avoiders may be less passionate than fighters,but they are less negative. Their homes are viewed as places of solace with enough good moments to override the bad.

“Good” for some people can be quiet, calm atmosphere with the absence of negative things (hitting,drinking, name-calling). Even though some couples are afraid of disagreements and don’t resolve issues,there are enough good things happening in the relationship to keep them satisfied.But when conflict avoidance leads to feelings of anger,and a spouse holds secret criticism,this can become destructive. Take the case of Tom and Cindy.

Cindy grew up in an alcoholic home and learned at an early age to keep her opinion to herself. If she disagreed with her father, he became violent and vebally lashed out.

Tom parents pretended problems didn’t exist. They refused to address most difficulties suffered from a number of psychosomatic health problems.Tom learned to avoid conflict. When their middle child began rebelling by partying and drinking,Cindy panicked.She feared her son would become an alcoholic like her father. Tom’s response to his son’s drinking was to do nothing.He told cindy she was overreacting,that their son was just going through a teen phase and would be fine after the curiousity was over. Cindy was not convinced but said nothing.

With time,she began to see Tom as leaderless and irresponsible.But she was afraid to say anything and her resentment grew by the way causimg her to pull away. Oneday,she decided to call the whole drama quit.Tom was shocked. There hadn’t been any angry exchanges.Truly he was unaware of Cindy’s long-term resentment which had developed into contempt. It was emotional disconnect time.

The failure to tackle a serious problem with their son led Cindy down a destructive path. She chose to criticize her husband to the point of hating him for his inaction. However,she didn’t confront her negative feelings and somehow, watched the positives of the relationship slip to nothing.

Both Tom and Cindy were conflict avoidance but under stress,Cindy’s behavior began to change and positive moments dwindled under the unresolved stress Her love for him began to fade.

To enjoy a healthy marriage,you must have more caring moments by focusing on the positives or recall great memories from the time you dated. What first attracted you? How did you enjoy each other?Do more of that often.

You may need to develop a keen interest in spending time together. Make time to go for a walk,to go out on a date. Talk about anything.Just stay in touch.

Most importantly,pray together as a couple. The spiritual unity which comes from praying together is powerful. Spiritual unity builds intimacy.Pray regularly and you ‘ll be suprised at what difference it can make.

Avoidance is the best short term strategy to escape conflict and the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering- Brendon Burchard,author The Charge