Turn to the chapter on military spouse conflict resolution in your Military Spouse Handbook. Oh wait… there is no handbook to explain the ups and downs of milspouse life. How amazing would it be if there was though? Among military spouses, clashes and conflicts can be frequent and intense. Trying to get along with everyone is exhausting, and impossible. So, how can you keep things civil when military spouse personalities clash?
5 Military Spouse Conflict Resolutions Tips
Military Spouse Conflict Resolution Tip 1: No Emotions
Conflicts are stressful, and when confronting one head on, emotions can get the best of us. Be in control of your emotions. Stay calm and don’t let them lead the conversation. This can be EXTREMELY difficult, but it sets the tone for the entire interaction. Before you begin to speak, try taking a few deep breaths. This can help put you in the right mindset and keep you on track to a peaceful solution. Keep your cool and keep emotions in check!
Military Spouse Conflict Resolution Tip 2: No Finger Pointing
Pointing fingers will only make things worse. If you are seeking military spouse conflict resolution, avoid this at all costs. The last thing you want to do is point out everything someone has done or said in the past. When people feel attacked they often get defensive and lash out. Who-did-what should not be the focal point of the conversation. Instead, focus on yourself and how you feel. If you feel wronged, explain, but avoid character attacks. Keep your fingers to yourself and stick to the facts without the blame.
Military Spouse Conflict Resolution Tip 3: Listen First
You shouldn’t assume you know the whole story. Listen first, and you might learn something. You also could discover why your personalities are clashing. When you are not the one speaking, listen to what is being said, and only what is being said. Don’t try to interpret meanings or decipher hidden clues in their words. Listen with a clear mind and listen to understand, not to respond. Fight the urge to respond to each statement, you will have your chance. Keep your ears open and your mouth closed.
Military Spouse Conflict Resolution Tip 4: Communicate
When it is your turn to speak, stay calm and state your point of view or feelings. It may even be helpful to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts before speaking. Those few moments of silence will allow both of you to prepare for the next steps. Effective communication can make or break your military spouse conflict resolution. Remember to keep your emotions in check, from Tip 1. Speak with an even tone, maintain eye contact and positive body language. No folded or crossed arms. Pay close attention to how you say things, often that is as important as what you say. Keep calm and deliver your words carefully.
Military Spouse Conflict Resolution Tip 5: No Winners
There are no winners or losers in military spouse conflict resolution. Going into a conversation to win, or be right is not going to solve anything. Reaching a peaceful solution isn’t always about right or wrong. Often, it’s about meeting someone in the middle. Understand that a compromise might be necessary to move forward. Removing the need to be right can eliminate some of the pressure and stress. Keep your pride in check and compromise when needed.
Once you have used these tips and reached a military spouse conflict resolution, what’s next? Don’t dwell on the conversation or the past. Start with a clean slate. When you walk away, leave everything behind and allow yourself to start over with this person. Whether that’s a better relationship, or getting along in the future. Do not go back on your word, or the compromise you reached. Drop it like its hot and move on.
Military life allows us to meet many people from different backgrounds. This can be an amazing blessing, but it can also lead to conflicts. When different personalities come together, especially in stressful situations, conflicts arise. Learning to navigate these conflicts effectively, can save your sanity! Use these tips the next time you find yourself clashing with a fellow milspouse.
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