TX Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution for Couples

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

Before reading the excerpt about effective communication, I would like you to take notes about the barriers that the two of you face when you attempt to communicate. I also want you to identify a few effective communication strategies that you would like to use. Following reading the section together, I want you both to spend about 30 minutes each using “I” statements regarding a mildly difficult topic. The speaker should focus on how they feel when their partner does something, and then explain what they need instead. The listener should express empathy and summarize what the other is saying and tell them they can see it that way as well. The objective is to speak of an issue and be able to see it from your partner’s perspective. The objective is not to “right fight” or “right argue” about your position being right but rather being able to see things from your partner’s view. Both of you should practice being both the speaker and the listener. Once this is done, then read the excerpt about conflict resolution.

Download (PDF, 511KB)

While reading this excerpt, I would like both of you to write down what your main source of conflict is and then which strategy or tactic you will use to avoid or resolve this conflict or another conflict. After reading the session, I would like you both to spend about 30 minutes discussing the main source of conflict that you each have regarding the relationship or regarding the other. It will be important to once again follow the communication steps outlined above in the communication lesson or in the conflict resolution section. What I want you to add to this flow of discussion is what solution you both will choose to manage the conflict and then write out an actual plan of how you will handle the conflict when you are faced with it. I would like both of you to sign an agreement that you will follow your plans.

It is important that you are able to resolve conflict in marriage. The couples that do not solve conflict have the most trouble in marriage. Those that can and learn to solve conflict typically thrive. Remember to take a break in the event that either of you becomes heated during this discussion. Once you have calmed, please resume, make peace, and make a plan. Remember, that both of you need to choose a conflict and resolve it with the other person. Once you have completed this lesson, please proceed together to Section 6, the quiz and the final section.

Download (PDF, 528KB)

premarital counseling for black people