The Commonest Cause of Marriage Conflict Today

“The best thing you could ever give someone is your TIME, because you’re giving something that you’ll never get back.”

– Author Unknown

The amount of time couples give to each other must be inversely proportional to the amount of conflict experienced.

Time equals communication, and communication means information, and information breeds empowerment for both spouses, as partners have the time they both need for reflection and decision-making.

It suddenly occurred to me recently that couple satisfaction has to correlate with the amount of time and effort they put in with their communication. Take my wife and I as an example of this. Our communication is usually of a great standard, but at times we argue briefly on matters we disagree about, simply because we haven’t spoken about it, when suddenly there’s time pressure to make a decision. Neither of us is in a position of empowerment when a discussion goes awry.

In other words, there isn’t the time to devote to quality communication, so we tell each other what we think. Respect gets dropped for a moment because a thing just needs to be done. And we polarise, and it’s possible that some unlaundered issues can spring out of the closet that we’ve been unconsciously hiding away. Both of us can retreat to our corners, and there’s no resolving the issue from there. Instead of treating each other as cherished and sacred, pressure situations can be the catalyst for tersely conveyed words.

It’s the same in all marriages where there’s commitment and passion, amid pressure for a decision.

Time for communication, on the other hand, facilitates thought and reflection on matters of household business. My wife and I often talk shop on our Tuesday date nights. We both love to plan. Date night isn’t just romantic; it’s also pragmatic. Better to have the communication there, where thoughts on decisions can be broached, before time runs out. And issues always prove that there was a finite life for any one issue. We talk a fair bit daily about the processes of our lives together. But there will always be a matter or two that we didn’t discuss, and that’s generally where the conflict comes from – from what wasn’t discussed earlier.

And, no matter how much communication there is between a couple, there will always be the issue that catches one or both by surprise. We have to learn not to sweat over small issues, for all issues are small in the scheme of things.

Couples who spend time intentional in their communication endure less conflict and experience more contentedness.

Communication needs to be about investing time and the commitment of intention. Respect follows when we’ve prioritised time with our partner.

Good marriage can be as simple as removing unnecessary distractions, slowing down, and spending time with the one we love most.

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