Working Through Conflict Tenderly to Resolution

This is the most challenging skill - and the most critical - to a lasting, loving marriage.


Friends who shared what follows developed the process in a time of pain in their young relationship.


If you are tempted to dismiss what you read as too simple or kitch, ask yourself if you value your partner enough to do the hard work of loving...

"Teddy Bear Moments" with the Person you Love

(when it's hurting and you're not feeling heard)


First you agree on a suitable Teddy Bear that you & your partner will hold to be your reminder to lovingly & attentively listen to your partner.

Second, take time to separately write down 5 things that you deeply need to know that your partner is aware of. Try not to get too detailed but take a deep breath, draw back and try to describe it in general terms. If needed you can still say this includes things like ... & bullet point them.

When write down your 5 things that are a priority to you, remember to try & write it as a love letter, while making sure you are clear so your partner understands.


Third, agree on a time when you will be undisturbed (quality time) to share your thoughts with one another.


It's very important as you share to be aware how much you want your partner to hear you, so when listening to them, give them exactly what you want. This could include things like...

  • Not interrupting

  • A smile

  • Think to yourself I am pleased my partner is taking the time to tell me what matters most to them.

  • Open & accepting body language (including attentive eyes)


At your agreed time to share, it's good to turn phones off & create a relaxed atmosphere.


Decide who will share 1st That person then gently shares what they have written. (One point at a time if you find it easier to remember or all together if you have good memories)


Remember you want your partner to react well to what you are sharing, so remember it is possible to create, by the way you share, an atmosphere that fosters this.


The partner holds the Teddy Bear by way of a gentle reminder not to interrupt & to listen well, so that they can reflect back to their precious partner what they have shared, using their own words.


Putting it in your own words allows whoever has shared to know that you have really heard them. So take time to express the heart of what your partner has shared.


This is not a time to solve the problems


not a  time to justify when reflecting back your side or point of view on what has just been shared.


Remember your partner is allowing you into their inner most thoughts. A very privileged place for any one to allow another person. Treat them gently & with respect.


It is amazing how powerful it can be to know that your partner has truly heard you & understands what you have said. Very releasing.


If you have difficultly and need a friend, invite another couple who cares about you both and could sit in and guide you through it.


It is a fact that having someone else that you feel comfortable with or meeting in a public place, helps reduce the negative emotions that can so easily consume times we share at this level regarding issues that are causing tension between us.


Fourth, after you have each shared & reflected back to each other. You agree a regular time when you can look at 1 point from each list, to positively agree a loving & achievable way forward together.


Coming to agreement may involve each of you writing several specific ways which you think your spouse will feel constructively resolves the issue.


As a couple you agree to keep discussions about the points listed to the regular meeting times.


This way the challenges a couple face stop intruding on every day, causing us to feel exhausted & allow us some space to enjoy life again, knowing there is an agreed time in the diary, when these important things will be discussed & reviewed.


Bonus - enjoy a great song: "Love Is Not A Fight" by Warren Barfield (MP3, For slower internet connections 'right-click' and 'save as') Chords and lyrics: page one two