Dealing With Marital Conflict

Clinical psychologists over the years have persistently sought out ways to help clients dealing with marital conflict, with the goal of providing support for couples as they battle distress and conflict. 

Conflict and Distress

Marriage is a significant institution and considering how much marital conflict could threaten the existence of this institution, it has become a paramount topic of discussion for clinical psychologists, spiritual leaders, family members and other parties endeavouring to proffer solutions. 

Marital Conflict

Studies on marital conflict take several points of views on why marital conflict ensue; for to solve a problem, one must first understand why the problem exists and what’s it’s developmental processes look like. One view considers that marital distress and conflict are as a result of damaging or poor responses to disagreements and marriage related conflict. Another view takes interest in the behavioural traits portrayed by conflicting couples and of course clinical psychologists often offer intervention by helping couples develop more effective conflict-resolution skills.

One might wonder about all the fuss and attention given to the subject matter or as we’ve seen among the younger population; we may decide to ignore it’s existence altogether and nestle ourselves in a cocoon of oblivion. The truth, however, remains that marital conflict is a big problem and statistical facts back this assertion up.

Why Marital Conflict Is Important

Marital conflict intertwines with key areas of health; mental and physical health, as well as, family health. All over the world, the subject matter has been closely associated with the onset of a host of mental and physical health-related problems including, alcoholism, episodic, excessive social and binge alcohol consumption (especially among the male population), depression, eating disorders, etc. 

Contrary to scientific postulations that people who are married are generally healthier than single people, married couples dealing with marital conflict are more unhealthy. They have poorer physical health status and commonly reported health problems relating to heart problems, cancers and chronic pain. 

Sadly, the marital conflict that aggravates to levels that involve physical violence account for poorer health status and account for alterations in immunological, endocrine, and cardiovascular functioning. In addition, cases of severe physical injury are also common.

More importantly, at it’s best, marital conflict negatively affects significant family outcomes such as poor parenting, poor adjustment for the children, parent-child conflict, and sibling conflict. In more severe cases, the couples and children suffer more especially when issues of conflict relate to the children. 

Marital Conflict and Children

Summarily, the couples’ mental and physical health, as well as those of the children involved, suffers when marital conflict is added to the marriage and family equation. Which makes everyone wonder, ‘why then do couples allow marital conflict fester or what exactly is the conflict about’?

What is the Conflict in Marriage About?

It may be almost impossible to fully categorize the nature of the conflict that couples experience, the simple truth is that couples can and sometimes do have issues about a wide range of issues. 

Some of the issues couples have had conflict over include but are not limited to:

  1.  Verbal abuse
  2. Physical abuse
  3. Personal characteristics or behaviours. 
  4. Perceived inequity in the division of labour
  5. Power conflict
  6. Marital dissatisfaction
  7. Extramarital affairs
  8. Alcoholism
  9. Jealousy
  10. Poor financial management
  11. Extended family problems
  12. Non-verbal aggression

2019 was a big year in a lot of ways, especially for us at DiamondMoor Psychological Services, we especially took pleasure in helping every single one of our clients. We are definitely extra pumped and ready to make 2020 even better. We wish you a great year with your mind set on your overall wellness.