Having conflict in marriage can cause you endless frustration. It often turns into an argument if you don’t know how to handle it properly. Some advice tell people try to avoid it if the issues don’t cause major conflict. I use to agree with it, because I often got into an argument with my wife when we talked about conflict. I prefer to remain the peace in our marriage and keep the issue in my mind and hope it would gradually go away when time goes by.
I heard therapists use the term “conflict avoiding marriage” when talking about this kind of marriage. At some level, a conflict avoiding marriage may work smoothly on the surface, but it may lead to a potential affair. The three stages of a conflict avoiding marriage usually lie as below. Each stage builds a foundation for the next stage and it leads to high risk of infidelity.
The first stage – “Happy on the surface”
I like to call this stage as happy on the surface? At this stage, couples avoid talking about conflicts and hiding all negative feelings. Each partner may only see the positives and assumes their marriage will work well as they imagine. In fact, couples often say or do things against their real feeling in order to avoid arguments. On the surface, the marriage looks as just great. Couples don’t fight, having no conflict and no argument. What a great marriage.
The second stage – emotional distance
Emotional distance could harm a relationship more than what you believe. Emotional distance makes you and your partner’s life parallel. You may live together as you always do, you may have sex occasionally but lack of intimacy. You would gradually feel like you live together just as roommates. You sleep together, eat together, but never have a deep conversation about each others’ feeling and needs. You may feel lonely even you have a marriage everyone else envy. The loneliness starts eating your heart. Gradually, you will feel lonely even surrounding by your partner, because you don’t have anyone can communicate to you in depth at home.
The third stage – “Ready to open a door for outsiders”
It takes two of you to build the castle called “marriage”. Only you two should live in the castle and no visitors allowed. When emotional distance exists, either one of the couple or both would have a certain level of need to communicate with. A colleague or a friend who shows willingness to listen and understanding may step into the marriage without knocking the door, because the emotional distance already made the insiders ready to open the door.
Avoiding conflict won’t solve problems for long term happiness. Communicate with your partner as open as possible and tell your partner your feelings, needs and boundaries. Although you may have more arguments, if you learn how to communicate and practice, you can get your spouse to talk about problems in a peaceful pace.