From Adversaries to Allies: Turning Conflict into Collaboration in Marriage

christian counseling collaboration communication conflict resolution growth marriage coaching teamwork trust understanding May 07, 2023

From Adversaries to Allies: Turning Conflict into Collaboration in Marriage


"If everybody is pushing in the same direction, the boat could even swerve tight corners." - Ayrton Senna


In marriages, conflicts are inevitable. But it is how you approach them that really matters. As a famous athlete once said, teamwork is essential for success, even in a marriage. With the right mindset and collaborative approach, you can turn conflicts into opportunities for growth and collaboration in your marriage.


Consider the story of a couple who almost drown in the sea. Pushed toward the shore by the rough waters and strong winds, they could barely keep themselves afloat. Only by working together, staying focused and recognizing each other’s strengths, were they able to fight against the waves and finally make it to the shore. That experience reminded the couple that they were a team and needed to work in unison to overcome any obstacle, especially those that affected their marriage.


Now, let's focus on the story of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. Jordan's brilliance on the court was in part due to his ability to collaborate with his teammates, frequently encouraging and supporting them during games. His teammate Steve Kerr once said, “Michael Jordan was a ruthless competitor, but he always wanted his teammates with him on the journey.”


Verified statistics show that successful marriages prioritize collaboration and communication. In fact, a study conducted by the National Marriage Project found that couples who reported high levels of collaboration were more likely to stay married and have a satisfying relationship.


Marital conflicts have existed since time immemorial. In the Bible, God instructs us to live in peace with one another, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." - Romans 12:18. Rest assured, you can find comfort in knowing that even the most successful couples have faced their share of challenges. Incorporating biblical perspectives can aid in navigating differences within a marriage.


In your day-to-day life, try and incorporate more empathetic practices in your communication and interactions. Remember that you both want the same thing and that you’re on the same team. Ask yourselves, "What areas of our relationship do we already excel in collaboration and teamwork, and how can we apply that to our conflict resolution?" or "What are some conflicts we feel most strongly about, and how can we work together to address these issues?"


Here are some action steps to help turn conflict into collaboration and teamwork in your marriage:


  • Start by acknowledging each other's strengths and areas of improvement.
  • Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements when trying to express how you feel.
  • Emphasize the importance of active listening and validate each other's perspectives.
  • Recognize when it's time to take a break and come back when you're both calm and ready to communicate more clearly.


If you're struggling to find common ground in your marriage, seeking guidance from a coach can help. A coach can guide you through challenges while providing you with effective strategies to build a stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling relationship.



Are you ready to take action and turn conflict into collaboration in your marriage?

Do you want to learn how to work as a team and grow together in love and understanding?

Contact us today to learn more about our coaching services and how we can help you achieve your goals.