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This paper provides an overview of unresolved conflict in marriage and the effects it produces in terms of marital satisfaction and longevity. The paper starts with a Christian perspective, exploring the issue briefly in the Bible, and then looks at other theories related to childhood attachment, including cognitive therapy and the more recent dialectical behavior therapy. The paper shows how these theories tend to agree that unresolved conflict, because it leads to negative emotions, thought patterns, and communication strategies, can lead to marital dissatisfaction and to the disintegration of the marriage.
From the Paper:"Two prominent Christian therapists, Drs. Tim Clinton and Gary Sibcy, take the approach of attachment theory. Starting from Bowlby's research on childhood attachment patterns which influence an adult's capacity to connect with others, they formulate a theory of various relationship styles. In their view, later inadequate behavior stems from a fundamental fear of abandonment (Clinton and Sibcy, 2006, p. 21). This fear of abandonment in childhood causes self-protection strategies to rise, such as ambivalence and avoidance, if the child feels insecure or is rejected by his or her mother. The child's needs are not met. They are wounded so that the person later feels angry, anxious, fearful, or threatened. The protective strategies that come out of these early experiences are attempts to shield the ego from pain and hurt. In other words, it is the mother's response to the child early on that determines to a large extent the types of reaction and relational styles (secure or insecure) that a person will hold as they enter a marriage.
"According to these authors, there are many ways that the negative results of early childhood trauma can be mitigated. For example, they call healthy communication the "great immunizer" (Clinton and Sibcy, 2006, p. 40). Self-knowledge is another step. If one has been raised in a secure environment, one has a better chance of developing a positive secure style of relating that is conducive to conflict resolution."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Beck, A. T. (1988). Love is never enough: How couples can overcome misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and solve relationship problems through cognitive therapy. New York: Harper & Row.
- Burns, D. D. (2008). Feeling good together: The secret to making troubled relationships work. New York: Broadway Books.
- Clinton, T. & Sibcy, G. (2006). Why you do the things you do: The secret to healthy relationships. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
- Fruzzetti, A. E. (2006). The high-conflict couple: A dialectical behavior therapy guide to finding peace, intimacy & validation. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
- Gottman, J. (1994). Why marriages succeed or fail . . . and how you can make yours last. New York: Fireside.
Cite this Term Paper:
Unresolved Conflict and Marital Satisfaction (2013, February 01) Retrieved March 07, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/term-paper/unresolved-conflict-and-marital-satisfaction-152367/
"Unresolved Conflict and Marital Satisfaction" 01 February 2013. Web. 07 March. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/term-paper/unresolved-conflict-and-marital-satisfaction-152367/>