“Plan your work and work your plan.” —Napoleon Hill


When it comes to conflict in your marriage, you should consider creating your own conflict plan.

Many couples live in a reactionary place when conflict happens. Think about what can happen if you sit down with your spouse and create a plan of how you are going to approach conflict. You create specifics for what you’ll do when you feel or hear certain words. 

Think about when you talk with your kids about their behavior. You use specific words that outline the behavior you’ve seen, why it’s not okay and what’s going to happen if you see it again. You know as a parent when you need to be firm and when you need to be swift. 

Without realizing it, you have a plan of how you will deal with your child’s behavior. You may even talk about it with your spouse and decide together what action you’ll take. 

Now in a marriage, there are two of you in the relationship. It means our individual and innate plans are often not the same plans our spouse has.

That’s why it’s so important for the two of you to sit down and discuss your expectations for times of conflict. 

Of course, it would be easy if our spouse were just like us. But that’s not the case.

That’s why conflict is just another area of marriage that can be dramatically improved with having a plan on how you are going to navigate. 

Navigate your conflict plan together. 

Because when you have a plan, one that the two of you have discussed, have worked through and agreed to, you have a structure. You have a process. 

So often, you see conflict in a marriage resulting in one person giving in. Or maybe one person walking away, or even everyone just mad at each other. 



But with a plan, a structure in place, you can reference it. You can also learn from it and agree to revise it. You have a common ground where you can both feel heard. 

This also means that you can plan and see what works.  If it doesn’t, you can keep revising it until you have the best version for YOUR marriage.

When you create a conflict plan you also begin changing behaviors that can become obstacles faster than you may realize.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

569: Dealing with Conflict: Part 1 — What Are We Fighting About

571: Dealing with Conflict: Part 2 — I Wish You Would Just…

573: Dealing with Conflict: Part 3 — How I Handle Things

575: Dealing with Conflict: Part 4 — Our Conflict Plan

***If you’re experiencing emotional or physical abuse please call or contact the agencies below for assistance.

Women call:

US: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: Call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: Visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.

Men call:

UK: Call the ManKind Initiative at 01823 334244
Australia: Visit One in Three Campaign

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