In Marriage, Can You Recover Quickly From Conflict?
Conflict is a guaranteed aspect of marriage. A healthy relationship has learned how to find workable solutions and quickly recover from a feeling of tension.
Yes/No: Even when we disagree, I know we will find a workable solution and reconnect quickly.
Why Does This Issue Matter?
It's not getting off track that hurts relationships, it's the inability to quickly get back on track that is the real danger. Every couple will have situations in which tension rises, frustrations are present, and the feel of connectedness will be lost. Those moments are not only unavoidable but actually necessary for a marriage. However, some couples struggle to get back on the same page while others can quickly regain their unity. The latter thrive while the former struggle.
What If You Said Yes (4-5 on the scale)?
If you can easily find a workable solution and get reconnected with your spouse, you possess a super-power that can propel your relationship to new places. The ability to navigate conflict wisely, kindly, and quickly is a great gift. Refuse to take it for granted. Continue to be thoughtful, kind, and compassionate with your spouse. Always be working on recognizing the signals your spouse is sending as they try to repair the relationship. Continue to use this skill to keep small fights small and not let them grow into something larger.
What If You Said No (1-3 on the scale)?
For many couples, when they cannot quickly regain relationship balance with their spouse, it means they are failing to send or receive signals which would lessen the tension. Issues are real, but if we aren't careful we can lose the context of those disagreements. When we are unable to quickly recover from a break in connection, small issues become big issues. This trains us to either avoid disagreements or to accept lengthy spans of feeling disconnected from our spouse. Either of which is determinantal to a healthy relationship. Being at 1-2 on the scale likely indicates the need for a third party to assist you. Being at a 3 says you should read more of Gottman's teaching on repair attempts and learn from the book Crucial Conversations (see both below).
Book: Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, McMillion, Gregory
Book: 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman