For many people, family is the most valuable thing in the world, which means it requires all efforts to try and preserve it and make ties within it as strong as possible. Unfortunately, family conflicts are a highly relevant issue nowadays. This is why I decided to dedicate this article to typical family conflicts and various ways of resolving them.
I’m now realizing that it would be much more interesting if I were writing it somewhere in a cave, for a prehistoric ThroughTheNews. So, we can fantasize a bit and compare modern day conflicts to the ones taking place in those caves thousands of years ago.
I believe most family conflicts were resolved pretty quickly back then. You come back from the hunt, with a catch and a pretty necklace made from the teeth of a saber-toothed tiger for your woman, and if she’s unhappy about something, you just slam her with a wooden club. And that’s it - peace and quiet in the cave.
Or, if you come home empty-handed, it’s the woman who may use that club on you.
But living conditions have changed with time. Instead of caves we have houses and apartments, instead of hunting - work. And, with the emergence of the institution of marriage, there are whole new layers of reality adding to the equation. We can now take a look at the most basic reasons for family conflicts and think about how they’d be resolved in the ages B.C.
“All marriages are successful. The difficulties begin after marriage.”
Say the marriage hasn’t met one (or both) of the spouses’ expectations. Maybe they weren’t prepared for the family life, or maybe they had different ideas about it.
Yes, it happens. Somebody wanted a knight in the shining armor and somebody thought everything would be just like in the movies. The real reason lies deeper: people have some completely inadequate expectations about marriage ingrained in them by those tales about knights and princes and a society which not only doesn’t break, but even reinforces these stereotypes. That’s why we have 40-year-old girls who still believe in perfect princes and 50-year-old boys who say “Bleh, real women don’t fart”.
The resolution to conflicts between spouses usually depends on the concessions they’re ready to make for each other, on what they’re ready to understand and forgive. And, one of the main conditions if they really want to overcome the conflict, is giving up the option of “winning” in a confrontation. We have to understand that victory at the expense of a loved one’s defeat isn’t victory anymore. It doesn’t really matter what fault our loved ones have, we need to respect them at all times. Which is why we need to ask ourselves what’s the reason of a given behaviour by our “significant other” and what worries us the most.
Now, let’s see what we have in a cave. Somebody didn’t meet your expectations? You don’t like her? Something heavy + the search for a new woman. Don’t like him? Something heavy + search for a new man.
“The secret to a happy marriage is still a secret.”
You can do this great thing - try not to let a conflict appear at all. Before all else, learn how to act during a fight: identify the problem. Discuss it with your partner in a calm and concise manner, paying attention to the tone of your voice and the words you choose in order to express your feelings.
Sometimes, the temptation to let out the caveman inside of us is huge: to yell at someone, or take that wooden club and slam it in our partner’s head. But it’s up to you if you actually let him out or decide to sort out the problem yourself.
Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images