Should you schedule your couple arguments?

David Olsen, Ph.D, LCSW

Should you schedule your couple conflicts, arguments or disagreements by picking a time on the calendar to process your latest issues? In other words, hold off until the appointed time on the schedule and limit the argument to an hour or so and then try to work your way through your list. I know, it sounds crazy! Who really does that? Yet a recent article in the Atlantic describes a couple who do just that and report that it has transformed their marriage. Before you dismiss the article as crazy consider the following points:

In reality, most people would agree with these points. Yet, despite their intellectual assent to these principles, very little changes in the way they handle conflict.

So, clearly, we need healthy ways to process conflict, since all relationships have conflict, and the avoidance of healthy conflict will always result in the death of intimacy.

While most couples are not ready to schedule their arguments, at the very least try to utilize these principles:

Obviously, this takes some discipline and none of us find this easy.  However, learning to do conflict well reaps huge dividends, and results in improved emotional intimacy. It’s well worth the work. Just as any skilled musician or athlete puts in multiple hours practicing their craft, healthy couples spend significant time growing together in learning to do conflict well!

Learning these skills is hard work.  If you need help or coaching, contact one of our relationship experts at Samaritan!