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Living Happily Ever After

August 28, 2009
Donna Andrusyk ISU Extension Family Life Specialist

June brides and grooms have likely experienced a conflict by now. In any relationship, eventually issues emerge which have the potential for creating conflict and arguments. It's inevitable because if there is more than one person, there is bound to be more than one opinion says Donna Andrusyk, an Iowa State University Extension family life field specialist.

Money is a frequent source of conflict for couples, but it's not the only one. Annoying habits, like not picking up dishes after snacking or leaving socks on the bathroom floor, can also fuel disagreements. Irritations can pile up and result in criticism or a sarcastic moment.

What can a couple do to resolve inevitable issues and conflicts? Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University, says its best not to harp on a sore subject, but equally as important not to let things simmer until they reach the boiling point. It's important that couples do the following: talk to each other openly, share household responsibilities, be willing to compromise and respect one another.

Make time to talk to each other about the day. Celebrate successes and accomplishments, and also be willing to share thoughts and ideas on problem areas that need improving. Olsen says to be brief, be factual, and work together on a solution before an irritation turns into an issue.

Share responsibility. A couple can decide to do laundry or clean their home together on Friday night to free up time for something they both enjoy during weekend hours that would otherwise be devoted to necessary chores.

Respect each other. Losing your temper is rarely effective. Name-calling or making hurtful remarks, like "How could you be so stupid?" can erode self respect and also damage a relationship. Hurtful language can also cause conflicts to escalate.

Keep emotions in check. If one or both partners are angry, call a time out. This allows you to cool down and think through an issue before continuing the discussion. You are more likely to have a better outcome if you can discuss the issue calmly.

Newlyweds often find juggling life's demands of job, family, home care and community responsibilities can be difficult. Planning for time together is essential. It allows couples to

re-charge their batteries and their relationships.

For more information contact your ISU Extension county office.



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