Conflict Resolution

There are those couples that never fight. Some of them might get into little tiffs here and there, some of them are just utterly zen, but they don’t fight. They don’t yell. They don’t hide out behind closed doors…and they definitely don’t argue in public.

We are not that couple. It’s easy for me to admit that because most of the people who know us in real life have witnessed some sort of argument we’ve had.

Our first fight ever happened a few months into our relationship, and it was about Call of Duty (can I get an amen, video-game widows?!). Since then we’ve argued over little things, like weekend plans, and big things, like religion, politics, raising children, and all the other stuff you aren’t supposed to talk about at the dinner table.


Personal photo / Angry Dragon face/sweaty post-mosh-pit face

What does this have to do with weddings?

To start with, weddings are a topic of argument to begin with. We have had many a spat about wedding stuff—planning, guest lists, location, who is more interested than who, who is going to do what, so on and so forth.

If you’re a particularly volatile couple, it feels like people start to look at you and wonder if you’re really right for each other. They don’t see the deep-down love and respect that is still present in the relationship, they just see two people at each other’s throats. Even if you’re one of the people in the couple, it can still start to seem a bit fishy.

Planning a wedding also, obviously, makes you think about the future. If we fight about this now, are we going to fight about it forever? It can be daunting to contemplate, if you ask me. I fully understand why people go through pre-marital counseling, and I can see that as a huge benefit to having a religious wedding.

We’re not doing that, though, so I find myself wondering if there are other options. We are both stubborn, though I am the one who hates to walk away from a disagreement. We both escalate things, over and over, until we are really, really unhappy. It’s something I’d really like to sort out pre-wedding so that we can have stronger ground to stand on and better strategies in our relationship to get us through the stresses of married life. I know that we are good for each other and we are capable and willing to get along on the big stuff, but it’s the “who does the laundry/why are you doing that like that/someone PLEASE feed the cats” kind of conflicts that wear us down.

It’s something for me to ruminate on, I guess, for now, and to be conscious of when I start reacting to a situation. I am going to try very hard to be the kind of person who counts to 10 and makes a rational decision rather than giving in to my immediate emotional reaction. I know wedding planning adds additional stress.

How do you deal with conflict in your relationship? Do you fight, talk it out, ignore each other, or do something else entirely?

And, did you do any pre-marital counseling, religious or otherwise? Was it a good thing?


Mrs. Dragon

Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012
Registering for Wedding Gifts: All of the Fun Stuff!
We're Engaged: Some Pics to Prove It!
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  1. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:22 pm

    We don’t argue that much. If we’re mad we don’t talk about it until we calm down (we don’t want to say things just in the heath of the moment), we talk about everything and that’s pretty darn great.
    But don’t be fooled, we don’t live together so of course we don’t have little disagreements as for claning the house or leaving things around. Let’s hope the system works once we share the same roof.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Guest, Guest @ 1:22 pm

    @NewBee: Sounds like a job for Wash-N-Fold! Then everyone’s happy! 🙂

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Hannah, Guest @ 1:26 pm

    If you’re interested in some sort of premarital counseling that’s not religous based, I would recommend Prepare Enrich. Our pastor (who we hired soley for the wedding) offers it, but so do others who are not religiously affiliated, and the questions/excercises aren’t religiously based either. Even though we hardly ever fight, FI and I both found it really helpful to bring up things you might not otherwise just start a conversation about! I’d definitely recommend it.

  4. msdragon Bee
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 1:36 pm

    @hosannac: I’m glad to hear it worked for you! I see it as sort of like bringing your car in for a tune-up, or getting your teeth cleaned — maintenance work!
    @Amanda88: Mr. D has held off on Mass Effect this time around which is funny because I actually like watching that one! 🙂 He sometimes does things for me and then asks if he can play some games so it sort of works like a reward system in that way.
    @NVACat: If only we had two TVs… haha!
    @Miss Wizard: I have to remind myself that we’ve been together for only two years and a bit, and that we’ll get better with time. Mr. D likes to say that one day we’ll just be able to understand each other better and from the sounds of it, that’s true.
    @Miss Porcupine: Yeah, we have nothing festering under the surface. I can’t do the silent grudge thing — it all comes exploding out of me pretty fast!
    @Littlebitfunny: We usually have to get through a fight before we get to the “you upset me because _____” calm talking stage… I hope one day we can skip the crazy part, though. 😉
    @NewBee: Ooooh man, we do separate laundry now because we could *not* agree. Sometimes we do a joint load but that’s rare and usually because we both forgot we needed clean clothes for the next day. Laundry is a volatile subject!
    @Miss Coyote: Ahaha, yes, I am the “STOP TELLING ME IT’S OKAY, IT IS NOT OKAY AND IT WILL NEVER BE OKAY AGAIN!” type, which flies in the face of the usually quite rational Mr. D. If he starts getting angry, that means things are going very, very bad. Dude is calm.
    @Kit_Kath: I think it’s important to go back and apologize if you realize you were being awful for no good reason. I’ve been trying to do that more often, even when it hurts my pride.
    @Caizn: I agree– it’s just a different style, and I’m not sure that one is more ‘right’ than another.
    @Coffee cup: One thing I find about sharing a space is that, if you’re like me and you sometimes want to just get away and get your space to clear your head, that doesn’t work well. It sounds like you guys have a good foundation for dealing with conflict, though.
    @Hannah: I’ll have to check that out!

  5. Member
    futuremrsbauer 44 posts, Newbee @ 5:27 pm

    My FI and I took a christian pre marital class at a church in the area. Although we are having a family friend officiate, we still wanted a pre marital class. They are just so easy to find at churches, and I found our class to not be so overwhelmingly religious. My FI is not really religious, but he still found the class really helpful. Churches generally have almost free classes (ours was $25 for eight weeks).

    Premarital classes were oh so helpful, our relationship grew up so much during the class!

  6. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:54 pm

    I’m the stew in silence type, which is really not healthy, but like everything in a relationship you recognize your weakness and try to improve.

  7. Member
    Miss_Manda 301 posts, Helper bee @ 7:11 pm

    I’m like one of the PPs… I’m the high-strung, stressy one and he’s the mellow, saint-for-putting-up-with-me when I’m in one of those moods one. Thanks for sharing your story… it helps to hear the “we’re not perfect” stories from Bees SO much!

  8. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:45 pm

    So glad you are real. We fight too.. wedding is making it worse – not that we fight more but if I get annoyed and vent, I get the “you wanna figure this out before the ‘I do”
    Blah.. those people are crazy – I love him more than anything, but he can drive me crazy 🙂

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    S, Guest @ 7:58 pm

    We’re doing non-religious pre-marital counseling and it’s been great. I’d totally recommend it to anyone. We’re fighting so much less and working things out much more easily.

  10. Member
    KYbride86 307 posts, Helper bee @ 8:04 am

    I’m sure you know this, but just wanted to note that you can do pre-marital counseling even if you’re not doing a religious ceremony! It’s a good way to talk about things that will effect/come up in any marriage — finances, kids, family, backgrounds, expectations and conflict resolution.

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