Overcoming Marital Conflict


Marriages are made, not in heaven, but by wonderfully fallible human beings
who hope for the best, but who often do precious little to make this most
challenging and complicated relationship work. From the very first couple and
their differing view point over the apple to modern times, men and women have
always disagreed. Both sexes are born with inherently different personality
traits. Although mankind knows they will never see eye to eye with the
opposite; they still are attracted to them, perhaps for that very reason.
Unfortunately it also means there will be unavoidable conflict in the union of
a woman and man. Woman\'s inherent sexuality and the widely dissimilar sexuality
of her mate is one of the primary conflicts in marriage. They will also find
diversity in their views on sex, communication, emotional expression, nearly
every aspect in their lives.
Sex has made marriages and broken them. Great relationships do not always
translate into wonderful sex! Many couples love each other deeply, but still
don\'t have a fulfilling sexual relationship. Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) wrote in
The New Spirit, "The omnipresent process of sex, as it is woven into the whole
texture of our man\'s or woman\'s body, is the pattern of all the process of life".
This leads me to believe our sexuality is the core to ourselves.
Unfortunately there are so many variants between men and women emotionally that
unavoidable conflicts will surface in the bedroom. Adam and Eve are the only
union who ever had the freedom of entering marriage and lovemaking with no
preconceived ideas no hang-ups, and no inhibitions. Men and women each possess
different outlooks toward the act of sex. Most women need an emotional
connection prior to experiencing a truly satisfying sexual encounter. Whereas
men tend to avoid deeply emotional bonding. Men can be happy with superficial
love, not that all men stop there. Women also feel affection is the essential
cement of her relationship with a man. She marries a man that cares about her,
and she wants him to express his care often. Without it she usually feels
alienated from him. With it she will become emotionally bonded to him.
Learning the sexual outlook of each other\'s partner will increase the ability to
deal with the sexual conflicts that materialize.
Fear of failure and rejection and the belief that something is wrong
infiltrates many sexual experiences. Case studies show that most couples who
complain of sexual problems in their marriages are really experiencing a deeper
problem. Letting go of assumptions, most of which come from books, movies, and
fantasies, and sharing desires and fears with their mate, their individual
sexuality can and will become more fully and freely expressed.
Communicating feelings and desires is the key to sexual contentment.
Conversation in the state of intimacy should be respectful and non-judgmental.
Partners, who share mistakes and failures, will see a closer bond of friendship
and trust result. Not only can they learn to be closer through the success of
their mate, but also in recognizing the vulnerable humanity from their failures.
Couples can learn to express the deep love for each other and gratitude for the
mutual care of one another. By lowering their defenses and forming a close
emotional bond by communicating, they\'ll feel greater pleasure when meeting each
others needs. This is the way marriage was meant to be.
Just as men find sex enjoyable in it\'s own right, most women enjoy
conversation simply because they like to converse. While most men have a need
for communication, this need is usually greater in women. This difference is
often a source of great frustration. Marriage counselors report that nearly one
half of all the couples they see have serious problems communicating.
Communication is extremely important in all areas of life, but in the intimate
state of marriage it is vital. Therapists agree that although most couples have
a sincere wish to actively discuss their sexual tensions they are unable to
communicate successfully. This could be caused by their lack of communication
skills. The average person may attend one formal class on effective
communication in their lifetime. With the help of a disinterested party or
working together, a husband and wife may initiate discussion of sexual problems.
Several roadblocks to keeping the channel of communication open may be a mutual
on singular unwillingness to compromise in resolving conflict, or inability to
share personnel thoughts. Some individuals may honestly be ashamed or
embarrassed to discuss sex. Normally such behaviors stem from prudish
upbringing. Other\'s may be afraid frank discussion would hurt their mate\'s
feelings or pride. The greatest