Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but how you approach conflict resolution with your spouse determines the health of your marriage.


Conflict can arise in your marriage for many reasons. You might disagree over how to handle household chores or how often to go on a date. Or you might fight about certain behaviors or how often you have sex.

From small things to big, friction can put a strain on your marriage.

How Conflict Affects Your 6 Pillars of Intimacy

It’s important to resolve arguments promptly and properly. Conflict is one of the quickest ways to become disconnected from your spouse if you don’t have the right skills.

The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® are not static. At all times, you’re either strengthening or weakening them.

When conflict drives a wedge between you and your spouse, the disconnection weakens your pillars of intimacy. Over time, poor conflict resolution can create deep cracks throughout the pillars. Ultimately, this leads to a weak marriage.

Discover Your Conflict Resolution Styles

You and your spouse are different people. As such, you will probably approach conflict resolution from different perspectives.

There are five main conflict styles, and knowing which ones you tend to use can help you improve your conflict resolution skills moving forward. Remember that each of these conflict styles has pros and cons, and different situations may require a different approach.


A spouse with an accommodating conflict style is more likely to give in to their spouse’s point of view.

Although accommodating seems to resolve conflict, it leaves the accommodating spouse’s perspective unaddressed. Over time, resentment can build if your needs and wants are never considered in an argument.


A spouse with an avoidant conflict style often tries to ignore the problem or deny that anything is wrong. This spouse is less likely to engage in any attempts at resolution because they don’t want to admit there is an issue.

Sometimes avoiding conflict for a moment can be beneficial if the two of you need time to calm down. However, avoiding conflict will ultimately weaken your 6 Pillars of Intimacy if you never solve the problem.

In fact, avoiding conflict is likely to make both of you feel unheard, which diminishes the feelings of closeness and connection between the two of you.


A spouse with a competing conflict style desires to win the argument.

You and your spouse are teammates. You’ll likely feel disconnected if one of you is trying to win every disagreement, no matter the cost.

A competing conflict style might end a dispute quickly, but it can cause deep wounds or resentment, especially if the competing spouse says harsh things to win.


One approach to conflict resolution you may have learned while growing up is to compromise. When you and your spouse compromise, you each give up something so that you can come to an agreement.

In small doses, compromising can be helpful. It allows you to address a disagreement and take action, even though neither of you may feel fully satisfied.

However, when compromising becomes the main or only tactic for resolving conflict, it can leave both of you feeling like you can never get what you want.


A collaborative conflict style is when you and your spouse work together to find a solution that suits both of your needs and wants.

Collaboration produces a win-win situation, but it’s not always easy. To collaborate effectively, you have to trust your spouse and be willing to spend time and effort finding an agreement that works.

Conflict Resolution Tips for a Happier Marriage

A lack of conflict does not equal a happy marriage. In fact, how you work through conflict will determine your marital satisfaction far more than the frequency of conflict.

With that in mind, here are nine things to know to help you resolve conflict in your marriage:

1. Be respectful to your spouse. 

You and your spouse are one, so working through issues as a team is essential. Be mindful of their feelings and opinions.

And pay attention to your verbal and non-verbal communication. Both of you should feel respected and heard.

2. Add humor when possible. 

It’s easy to take things too seriously when you’re stressed. You may encounter situations when some humor can break the tension between you and your spouse.

A little laughter can help you reconnect and find a solution that works.

3. Focus on the situation, not your spouse. 

Sure, this is easier said than done, especially if the issue is something your spouse is doing. But when you approach conflict as a team, you can avoid making your spouse feel defensive or attacked.

It should be the two of you against the problem, not the two of you against each other.

4. Listen as much as you talk. 

How often have you found yourself only thinking about the next thing you’re going to say when arguing with your spouse?

It’s just as important to listen to your spouse’s thoughts and feelings as it is to share your own. You can build trust when you engage in the conversation with your spouse and let them know you hear them.

5. Take a break if necessary. 

You can say things you don’t mean when your emotions are at an all-time high. It’s okay to take a break from the argument if you need.

Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes to cool off. Then, return to the conversation and get back to finding a solution.

6. Take responsibility for your mistakes. 

No one likes to be wrong, but it’s important to acknowledge our mistakes and ask for forgiveness when necessary.

When you ask for forgiveness, you help jumpstart the repair process instead of diving deeper into conflict.

7. Remain patient and put in the effort. 

In many scenarios, resolving a conflict in your marriage takes time. It’s important to put in the effort to try to reach a solution.

Avoid tapping out of the conversation just because it’s taking a long time or feels exhausting. Conflict resolution in marriage requires energy, but your relationship is worth it.

8. Acknowledge your wins. 

Working through conflict successfully with your spouse can be hard, so it’s worth celebrating.

Point out the things you did well after the argument is over. There are always lessons to learn from conflict, but make sure to recognize the positive things too.

9. Seek help when you need it. 

Sometimes you need someone else’s input when you have recurrent or constant disagreements.

Don’t be afraid to get help through marriage coaching, counseling, or speaking with a trusted third party.

The Truth About Conflict Resolution in Your Marriage

Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to hurt your marriage. In fact, approaching conflict resolution the right way can strengthen your marriage and bring you and your spouse closer together.

With patience, understanding, and a willingness to find solutions, you and your spouse can conquer all kinds of conflict and enjoy an extraordinary marriage together. To learn the skills you need to do conflict better, get your copy of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy Conflict Resolution: The Secret to Breaking the Conflict Cycle in Your Marriage.

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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