How to Deal with Conflict Over Values in Your Marriage

Posted by stella on January 12th, 2015

Values are deeply held beliefs. They rarely change, especially when tied to self-identity, say marriage counselors engaged in marriage counseling Naples FL. There are four ways to deal with marital conflicts involving values. A counselor engaged in marriage counseling Bonita Springs FL with a background in conflict resolution can provide you guidance. On the other hand, there are things you should keep in mind if you try to deal with an identity or values conflict in your marriage on your own.

Avoid Challenging or Directly Discussing Identity / Values. The question to be asked here is, notes marriage counseling Estero FL, will a discussion of values likely result in further conflict? If the answer is yes, that is, if there would be no productive outcome, then avoid direct talk about values. Instead, discuss related issues. What does this mean? Consider the following alternatives.

(a) Use a Different Framework to discuss your issues. That is to say, (i) focus on your marriage partner’s threatening behavior, not his or her values. (ii) Focus on your spouse’s attitude. Promote each other’s positive regard for the other despite differences in values. (iii) Focus on the ways things are structured. A change in delineated roles within the marriage, for example, may need to be adjusted. In all these areas, conflict in your marriage can be reduced without having to ask each spouse to change their values.

(b) Improve Each Spouses’ Understanding of the Other’s Values. (i) Educate each other about the values they hold to increase mutual understanding. (ii) Acknowledge each other’s values. (iii) Be empathetic toward each other’s values, so each can truly understand and feel how important those values are to the other. (Understanding of, it should be noted, does not require agreement with). (iv) Acknowledge the legitimacy of other’s values. Taking this approach will certainly lower the emotional temperature in the room.

(c) Ways to Move Forward. (i) Agree to disagree on values and move to areas where you as a couple can work together. (ii) Create separate spheres of influence where each spouses’ values will predominate on a given occasion. For example, with divorced parents and their children – what is permitted in one home might not be permitted in the other. In this way, each spouse’s values are preserved without engaging in a fight.

If you are experiencing conflict in your marriage that is part of a larger ongoing cycle, Dr. Ken Newberger, PhD, Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His cutting-edge process provides an effective and modern alternative to traditional marriage counseling. View his process at: or phone him directly at 239-689-4266 to confidentially discuss you situation. He primarily serves those who live in Lee and Collier counties in Southwest Florida. That is, the cities of Estero FL, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, and surrounding communities. Reach out to him today to repair and rebuild your marriage relationship.

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Joined: January 12th, 2015
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