WPR036: How to Manage Different Stages of Conflict in Your Marriage

Do you ever wonder if you're doing the "right" things as a parent?

by Sarah Argenal
WPR036: How to Manage Different Stages of Conflict in Your Marriage

Episode Summary:

We chat a lot about productivity and time management and boundaries and all sorts of other things that help with one of the biggest problems that working parents have: not having enough time.  And I love talking about this stuff because I know it really is one of the biggest struggles modern working families face – trying to fit everything into their busy lives.  And I have 20 years of experience in the project management field, so I’m happy to chat about this as much as I can.

But I’ve spent over two decades completely immersed in studying the various elements of healthy committed relationships.  This is a topic that I’ve been obsessed with for most of my life.  I’ve read as many books as I could get my hands on.  I’ve had countless conversations with people who are genuinely happy in their relationships.  I even went to grad school to get my Master’s degree in this subject.  And it also seems to be an area that lends itself to either a lot of joy as a working parent if you and your partner are working as a team, or on the flip side, a lot of frustration and overwhelm if things aren’t going well in your relationship.

I think I’ve mentioned this at some point in a past episode, but my parents got divorced when I was 5 years old, and were both remarried by the time I was 10.  While I adjusted and learned to adapt to my new life as a child, I can look back and see the long-term effects of being raised in a blended family.  For a long time, I didn’t even think I wanted to get married myself because I just couldn’t understand how I could possibly make it work.  I didn’t have all that many positive role models for a functional marriage.  Of course, I agree that there are times when it’s best for the whole family if a couple gets divorced, and I’m sure that’s true in my situation.  But it didn’t make my life any easier, and I had a lot of relationship drama throughout most of my life as a direct result of my early life experiences.

But after years and years of learning about relationships, and applying what I learned to my own relationships, and then meeting my awesome husband Joey and building my own family with him, I’ve discovered that there are a lot of different things that you can do to build and maintain a healthy and happy relationship with your spouse, even when you have kids and a busy career.

But what I also learned after we had kids was that even the most solid and stable relationships can be rocked when you’re dealing with the realities of being a working parent.  There are a LOT of stressors that come up when you’re trying to juggle so many important things, and we’re living in hyper-speed these days.  There’s not a lot of time to mindfully resolve the issues that come up for us with our partner.

And in both situations, whether you’re happy and solid as a couple, or whether you’re struggling in your marriage, they both tend to come down to how you manage conflict.

This is the one of the main reasons I started the Working Parent Resource.  Helping working parents strengthen their relationships and build a stable home environment for their kids without giving up who they are as individuals is really important to me.  The busier we get, the harder it is to make our marriage a priority.  And the longer we wait to resolve both the big issues and the little ones, the more conceivable it is that our marriage won’t stand up to the stress.

I know so many of you feel exhausted and stressed out, and many people attribute that to not having enough time, which is totally valid so that’s why we talk a lot about that.  But when I talk about blending the different aspects of your lives in a sustainable way as a busy working parent, I have one goal in mind: to help you acquire the tools you need to stay happy and fulfilled in your personal life without sacrificing your professional life so the foundation of your family is less likely to crumble beneath you. 

I guess in my own little way, it’s my attempt to protect other kids out there from the fear and sadness that I felt growing up as a child.  I want to help as many people as I can avoid the destruction that can happen to a family when you don’t have the tools to manage the conflict that inevitably arises in a marriage when you have young kids.

So with that said, today we’re going to talk about the three stages of conflict you may find yourself experiencing in your marriage, and some practical things you can do to begin managing and resolving that conflict in a healthy way.  I don’t just want to help you avoid an unhappy marriage or divorce… I want to give you the resources you need to build a solid foundation for a connected and engaged relationship that will persist through these challenging early years.

Show Notes:  https://workingparentresource.com/36

Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:

The Gottman Institute

The 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, Ph.D and Nan Silver

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, and How to Make Yours Last by John Gottman, Ph.D.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

Marriage and Relationships Resources

Working Parent Resource Burnout Assessment

Working Parent Resource Burnout Training

Working Parent Resource Website

Working Parent Resource Facebook Community

About the Working Parent Resource:

The Working Parent Resource is dedicated to helping ambitious working parents acquire the information, insights, and tools they need to create a more intentional and fulfilling life that reflects their deepest values and priorities.  Sarah Argenal, the host of the Working Parent Resource Podcast, has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy and Adult Development, and is a Certified Professional Coach with over 15 years of experience in counseling, coaching, teaching, course development, and project management. You can access episode Show Notes and learn more about the Working Parent Resource at http://WorkingParentResource.com.

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This show was sponsored by the Working Parent Resource.  We offer a carefully curated archive of Resources, a diverse suite of coaching opportunities, corporate packages, a robust online community, and much more.  Check it out here:  http://WorkingParentResource.com.


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