Category Archives: Conflict Management

The Simple Things

Stef sent me a picture tonight after she got her hair done. It was one of the most loving and beautiful pictures yet. I fell in love with her all over again. It is the simple things in life we seem to forget to appreciate. A touch on the shoulder, holding hands in the car, the way she gets undressed, the way she brushes her teeth, eats her food, her walk, when she drops gas bombs in the bed, or holding hands after feeding the animals to name a few. 

Dale Partridge believes men need to be men, not boys, step up and love your wives and always fall back in love with them every day. Let them know you adore them. 

In the end, simple really is not simple. They are the most complex, speechless,  and humbling things we encounter. Suck them up, breathe, and adore them. 

To the love of my life. Thank you for being the most strong and courageous woman I have ever known. Thank you for loving me. I will always take care of your heart. As always, I love you….


Controlling Relationships more thoughts..

Stef gave me some good feedback and I want to add to it. I always asked who, what, when, where, why, and how. I didn’t realize it was breaking her down emotionally and making her a miserable person. I never knew saying don’t do this or that was so bad. Most concerns are not really concerns because they are our own insecurities. 

I love her very much, and my actions reflect those changes I promised her. She is seeing a man on a mission everyday. I am finally her rock. She can count on me to love her the right way and take care of her and the family emotionally and financially. Thank you my love.


Controlling Relationships

This is a special article because it will be broken down into two parts. Part I will include my persepective, my mistakes, my regrets, and my conviction to correct my old problem for the rest of my life. Part II will include my other halfs perspective from her own words. We hope the reader can a better understanding the importance to openly communicate to one another so this does not happen. Relationships are worth fighting for especially when you genueinly love each other.

I honestly did not realize the damage I was doing until I got slapped in the face with the consequences of my actions. I thought I was protecting myself from being hurt when actually I was hurting us. Instead of bringing us closer together I was pushing her away. I thought she understood that I was trying to protect my family, trying to protect her, trying to do the right things as a man, father, and husband. I always take responsibility for my actions….. boy was I so incredibly wrong about doing things right. There is no doubt about how much I love my wife or kids, nor a shadow of doubt to my level of commitment to her and our family. I have never loved or appreciated anything so much. I often tell her how much the best place in the world is when I am holding her, and looking into her eyes. 

Guys listen up, step up and be a real man. Do not make the mistakes I did. You have to trust her. I always have but I wasn’t showing it because I was always getting upset about stupid stuff. She would stay over to talk to a female friend, my mind said it was a male. She wanted to work extra to pay a bill, my mind, she doesn’t want to spend time with me, and there is no way I want her to work her full time job extra. The proper thing to do is say hey honey I understand let’s figure it out together. Do not ever say you can’t or don’t!!!! Don’t do this or that, don’t wear this or that. Instead, express and voice your concerns. She and I are the worse about crap getting in our heads. However, we need each other but not in a demeaning way. We just love each other that much. Any concerns you may have do not say them over text!!!!!!! OMG!!! Text comes across the wrong way when you do not need them too every single time!!! Another example..Don’t go here or there. Instead, explain your concerns and move on. Things have to get done, and you cannot win every battle. I believe in transparency, but it goes far beyond this when you say you can’t or don’t. Asking not to do something is totally different, just make sure you have a good reason and not because of some crap in your head.

How did I feel? Like a total failure. I am sorry. However, this time my actions reflect my words. I have always been sincere in my apologies, but now that I truly understand finally, my actions will show it. My insecurities did this. I had no reason to be insecure. I am smart, educated, handsome (yes her words!!! Lol), and loving. She is my best friend and she loves me!!!! Why in the hell was I ever insecure?!!! Because I was an idiot. She loves me with all her heart, she trusts me, and she believes in me. 

We have financial issues like anyone else. However, we created debt together. We were strapped. Always be honest with your money issues. Pull your weight and work together because you are a partnership. Moving forward, I am doing all I can to reduce the income problems we have had. I will not be a supporter, I will be a provider.

What is my biggest regret? Hurting the only person in my life that I have ever truly loved. I never knew how not to be controlling. I never knew I wasn’t listening and it almost cost me everything. When you get hit with reality that your ass is losing everything and you have no control, you make life altering changes very quickly. You suck up your pride, step up, and be the man she knew was inside you, and you love her the way she has always wanted you too. I will never be that guy again.
My conviction and my only purpose is to do what we need for our family. I will love her the right way, I will get rid of our debt, and I will step up and be the man of the house. When I put articles out here it’s not just empty words. It is about accountability. It is our there for the world to see. There is no failure. I made her a few promises I will keep. First, changed behavior. I will lead by my actions. Second, I will always be a loving and supportive husband and father. Third, 1/2 to 3/4 of our credit card debt will be gone, and she will not have to work full time after the beginning of the year. I know, big promises. Well, guess what? I am keeping them all. 

In the end of Part I…. love your spouse do not be controlling. To easy! Stef will provide her perspective this week, and she will not hold back! I actually love that about her. 

Always fight for your family, but do it in way that is loving and enduring. It has made us better, brought us closer than ever before, and we appreciate things about each other so much more. I hate it happened, but if it makes my life with her better then I will go through hell and back. She deserves the best from me, and she has it because she showed me how not to be controlling just as I showed her how to love. It is a partnership.

 I love you more than anything on this earth. I trust you and I believe in you. I am your biggest fan and supporter. You gave me life when I had no air, you gave me hope when I lost hope in this world, and you love me and see good and greatness in me when I was too blind too. I will forever be changed for you, I will always put your needs before my own insecurities, and I will always love you the way you need me too. You are the greatest woman in the world. Your body drips with beauty, and I am the luckiest man in the world. I love you. As every minute passes when you are not in my arms I ache without you. I am so thankful and in love with you… thank you for making me a better man, father, and husband. 


When Your Spouse is having a Bad Day

There are those days that no matter what you do, you are going to be wrong. Let’s be honest, we all have had a bad day. You wake up grumpy and fussy, and no matter how well intended the actions of your spouse may be, you get more agitated. To make matters worse, we take them extremely personal, and it makes things even worse. It could be hormonal, insecurity, or just having a generally bad day.

 

Relationships are partnerships. You are committed to one another. You do not threaten one another, call names, or put each other down. Instead, you become the rock the other person needs. The most successful relationships have several common factors. Marissa Laliberte, author of 11 Signs You Can Trust Your Partner, believes you should be open and vulnerable. When you or your spouse are having a bad day, you just need to sit back and listen to them vent. No matter the topic, just listen. It seems as though active listening is a lost art form, and more couples are willing to give in and throw away their relationships.

 

Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher and author of The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference, believes being able to be honest and open about your feelings is one of the biggest signs you can trust one another. When a person is allowed to express their feelings and concerns without judgement and without being put down, it brings you closer as a couple. “Openness and vulnerability in conversation—their willingness to really open up their heart and share what they’re really thinking, even if it puts them at risk for ridicule and being criticized for you—that is a scary thing in a lot of relationships.” “There’s trust if they’re willing to talk about things, give you details, sometimes share additional details, and have no hesitations,” says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, co-author of Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls. Go out of your way to put them at ease because it shows you care enough about them to put them first. They are a priority to you, and it is a significant show of intimacy.

 

If it hormonal………………………. GOOD LUCK! Nothing, and I mean nothing you do is going to be right. Just suck it up, and go above and beyond. Just say yes dear, I love you, how can I make your day better.

 

Study your spouse every day. Learn what their expectations are, and what makes them happy and sad. Be careful how you articulate things. Admit when you are wrong. If you make a mistake, big or small, just admit to it. It shows you are responsible. Furthermore, it shows you are not afraid to let the other person in, and it goes a long way to show you are not lying and hiding things.

 

If insecurity is a reason, then you have to work together and really take the extra step and let them know how much you love them. When you are driving or when you are not able to check your phone, ask your significant other to answer it, or check to see if there are any messages. It goes to show they can trust you because you have nothing to hide. You could switch phones for a week or two. It will go a long way to develop trust.

 

In the end, just be sympathetic. When we have a bad day, we say things we really do not mean. No need to take it personal, just make sure you apologize, and tell them how much you love them. Just ride it out, and remember tomorrow is a new day. There are no excuses, so take responsibility for your actions. Do something sweet and romantic for them to show them you care. Run a bath, fix dinner, candles, soft music, leave little notes or flowers. It is the little things that mean the most.


Speechless……………………………..

This is one of those posts that directly relates to something personal. So, have you ever had one of those days in which nothing can go right? Well guess what…. It has been two days now, and the spiral continues downward.

 

The back story is this: Men, learn to pick and choose your battles. The more you try to fix it, the worse it gets. There is no winning. I found a quote that says, “A woman has the last word in an argument. Anything a man says after that is the start of a new argument.” The best advice I can give you is to walk away, and don’t keep running your mouth. It doesn’t just make things bad, it escalates from something you can talk about later to pure unadulterated hatred. It is like throwing a 5000 gallon tank of gasoline on a small camp fire….. i.e. BAD DECISION!!!!!!!!

 

In my case, there is no excuse. I just simply messed up. I kept on talking when I should have just walked away. Sometimes you just have to take the beating. There is nothing you can say or do. You are not going to be right, even when you are right. You can do everything perfect, and it doesn’t matter. In my case, I cleaned the house so she could just relax today. Did it help? Probably…..Instead, this morning I wanted to talk and that was just not acceptable (especially since it was her only day off this week). By our own natural instincts, men want to fix things, but when it comes to woman,  it takes time. Men have an off and on button. We can just let things go with in the next 10 minutes if we just talk about it. Women do not work that way at all. They will bring up anything and everything to hurt you because they are hurting at that moment. It doesn’t make it right, and most of it is said in emotion. Stef has told me on more than one occasion to just walk away.  You would think I learned my lesson.

 

In the end, just admit you are wrong, Lord knows I put two feet, a trunk, and a wheelbarrow in my mouth. Always talk with love and compassion about an issue that is bothering you. I have to admit, it is a tough line to walk. If I am wrong I have no issues apologizing. So guess what….. I am sorry for not using good judgement, common sense, and rational behavior. Instead, I used poor judgement, talked like an ape, and looked like a piece a crap.

 

I will leave you with a quote from Clifford Adams, “Silence is never more golden than when a quarrel is brewing.”

 

As always, thank you honey for loving me, being patient, and showing restraint. I am a better man because of you. I love you.

 

 

 

 

 


Conflict Resolution or Conflict Management?

Let’s be honest, most people are afraid of conflict. The do not like the uneasy feeling that comes over them. They do not want to ruffle feathers or cause the other person to explode. Some people actually have to walk a very fine line to make sure their spouse does not flip out. People do just enough to move on to another day, and they never address the root of the issue. This is true in relationships, work environments, or war. Instead of resolving conflict, they chose to manage it by balancing beliefs, sanity, and self-control. It is not an easy thing to do, and it can take a toll on you.

What is conflict? The Coalition Foundation (2015) defines conflict as a “struggle or contest between people with opposing need, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals.”  Conflict results because there is some form of miscommunication between people with regards to opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. I think we all would agree, the biggest and most frustrating problem with conflict is miscommunication. We are stuck to our cell phones and emails more than ever, and it is extremely easy to be a “telephone tough guy” and say things that are condescending and degrading. In reality, text and emails have no voice. It is left to the reader to predict how the other person said what they sent. In their head, they think they know the tone of the writer, which couldn’t be further than the truth. I know I am guilty of this myself. However, when we talk face to face, the confrontation is greatly decreased because the tone is nothing like we thought.

The University of Peace (2005) defines conflict management as the effort to prevent the escalation of violence and its negative effects on conflict. USAID, “Training of Trainers Manual,” outlines several issues managers of conflict need to understand in order to properly implement conflict management principals. First, it is important to understand the underlying issues of the conflict. This provides direction and understanding for the stakeholders involved. In this context, it is necessary to examine the cultural background and experiences of the stakeholders to ensure neutrality. Second, there are different types of relationships which could occur during the process. Questions such as: Is there a connection? What type of alliance is there? What is the direction of power or influence? Are there broken relationships? Is there discord and why? In most conflicts power is the single most important element because it affects the dynamics of the relationships or conflict the most, and to successfully analyze and provide solutions, practitioners need to understand uses of power because it can be confusing.

In contrast, Miller and King (2005) define conflict management as an “interventionist effort to prevent conflict and violence,” while providing no structured method to resolve conflict. Instead, resolving conflict requires a flexible approach to finding a resolution to problems. Conflict management does not hold that all conflicts can be resolved. Instead, conflict management focuses on decreasing the level of non-productivity. This can be accomplished by having the skills needed to navigate into conflict resolution, including self-awareness about the conflict modes, understanding a variety of communications skills, and by establishing some form of structure to manage the conflict. Spangler (2003) believes conflict management is the control of deep-rooted conflict and resolution is possible if the right tools are applied. However, conflict management requires engaging in a manner that is “more constructive and less destructive.” The ultimate goal for any conflict is to intervene in such a way that makes the ongoing conflict “more beneficial and less damaging.” Best (2005) further believes conflict management is the process of reducing negativity through a variety of measures.

 

What does this mean?  Is managing conflict or resolving the conflict the right process for you and your circumstance. If you are in a relationship /marriage, I would highly suggest to pick and choose your battles. In my professional opinion, you must always be completely honest, and never speak out of emotion.  Conflict resolution is a must for major issues affecting the dynamics of the relationship and both parties’ feelings. Leave managing conflict for smaller items. While the ultimate goal is a win-win solution, the reality is it will not always occur.

 

In the end, there is no easy way to handle conflicts. Both parties’ must be willing to engage constructively. In relationships, both persons need to engage without emotion by setting boundaries. Some items may need to be tabled, so each person has time to think about things, then reengage at a later time. Ultimately, everyone wants to come away feeling like they had a hand in the decision making process.

 

 

 


Why? / How?

Life is a tough road, so when it seems to be falling apart we tend to ask ourselves why me? There ups and down, personal challenges, adversity, family and professional issues, relationships, health concerns, and financial issues. Now add terminal illness, losing a job or loved one, and the weight can be too heavy for some.

There is a problem with asking why and how. On one hand, if you are like me, I seek answers through questions. I try to find understanding, direction, and resolution with these words. When things are going bad, I can usually find the cause or root of the situation by asking myself why or how. They provide a roadmap for what has happened. I am able to find clarity by tracing my foot steps and the events that led up to the current situation. On the other hand, it can be seen as a form of interrogation. I am a firm believer if you have nothing to hide, then these are simple questions. Others believe there is no need to ask questions if you fully trust the other person. Find the reassurance you need, and move forward by providing what the other needs respectfully. A solution produced by both people are equally rewarding.

How ands why can help you find direction and resolution as it prevents mistake from happening again. It narrows your focus and minimizes distractions that could lead you down that road again. I have probably made more mistakes than most during my life. When I asked myself why and how, I was able to change the behaviors rapidly. I finally understood what was going on and why. Moreover, I was able to finally be the man I always wanted to be. I didn’t blame anyone else for my misfortune. I took responsibility for my actions and made drastic changes. This occurred in two instances: improving the kind of person I was and financially.

What most people forget when things go bad is they usually could have prevented what just occurred. We can control most of the things in our lives, but we still make bad choices and bad decisions. We learn from our mistakes in most cases, but there is a small handful of people that continue the vicious cycle because they lack the motivation to change. You cannot dwell or beat yourself up about things you cannot control, i.e. loss of a loved one or terminal illness. This is easier said than done I know. I lost my Grandmother and my best friend within 3 months of each other.

In the end, why and how are powerful questions. They can provide you with options, understanding, and freedom. Do not use them as an interrogation tool, rather for understanding and clarity. You may need to reword what you are asking when talking to a loved one. Always seek to be better than the day before. Always seek to love better than the day before.


%d bloggers like this: