11 Tips for Managing Conflict with Your Spouse or Significant Other (SO)  


Two people rarely see eye to eye all of the time – even if they have promised to love, honor and cherish. Building a strong relationship requires work, dedication and the ability to manage conflicts. If you find yourself at odds with your spouse or SO, try these tips: 

  •  Look directly at your spouse to let her know you are listening.

  • Avoid rehashing past hurts – stay focused on the present issue.

  • Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV, silencing your phone, etc.

  • Discuss hurtful behavior based on how you feel rather than as a reflection of your spouse’s character.  Use “The Golden Rule”: Treat the other person as you wish to be treated.

  • Allow your spouse to explain her/his position or feelings without interrupting.

  • Share happy memories to help the two of you reconnect. 

  • Take time to do things you enjoy together.

  • Don’t involve your kids in your conflicts.

  • Stop thinking of “you” or “me” and consider what is best for the two of you as a couple. 

  • Let your spouse win sometimes -- is getting your way really more important than keeping your relationship?

  • Seek the help of a professional counselor if you find yourself having more conflicts or are having trouble resolving them on your own.