October 15, 2014

“The number one predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict.” -Diane Sollee (The Coalition of Marriage, Family and Couples Education).

Think about this for a minute… individuals approach life from different perspectives. Every relationship has unique individuals bringing different styles of communication, family and cultural backgrounds, life experiences, priorities, goals and values . These differences create occasion for conflict.

Healthy conflict can lead to wiser decisions, deeper trust and greater emotional intimacy. Healthy conflict occurs when there is:

  • Recognition that conflict is normal and valuable
  • Mutual respect for each perspective
  • Transparency and trust
  • Willingness to respond and change, as needed
  • Focus on the issue: not personalities
  • Focus on the solution: not blame

Action: Individually rate this list of statements on a scale of 1-5 (1 – never, 3 – sometimes, or 5 – always true in your relationship).

Discuss together your conflict ratings. Share how conflict was modeled in each of your family backgrounds. Identify on one or two steps you will take to move toward healthier conflict.


Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit familylifecanada.com/mike