Engagement tips: How to use a Conflict Journal

What the heck is a CONFLICT JOURNAL + WHY?

When a conflict or problem doesn’t get resolved in the way one or both of you wished for, write about it in your couple Conflict Journal. Over time you will see patterns and find you are having the same conflict many times over. NOW is the perfect time to begin learning from your conflicts by using a Conflict Journal.  FIRST TASK:  Get out there and buy a journal. Choose one with a cover that inspires you or buy a plain one and collage the cover. This will be your ‘Conflict Journal’. You may decide you want to call it something else, such as ‘Our Hard Times’ or ‘Life Lessons’.

NOW:  Around an issue of conflict, ask yourselves these questions. Each of you can write your own answer.

  •  What could I have done differently?
  • What would have worked better? (Remember that you can only change one person – yourself. Focus only on what YOU could have done differently.)
  • What did I learn from this conflict? (Again, this is not about what you think your partner should have figured out.)

You may still be pissed off at your beloved after writing about it. That’s okay. The goal is to try to look deeper to see what this conflict has stirred up in you and to gain insight into what its roots might be. Don’t just shove things aside and tell yourself to think positive. Take time on your own and together to reflect on what really bugged you about that conflict. Usually there is a connection to past hurts or fears. Share these with each other in the way you learned about yesterday: use a timer, let each other speak uninterrupted, and really listen deeply with a curious mind.

If you liked this tip, stay tuned every day this week when Wedding Celebrant Michele Davidson will share tips to help you thrive during your engagement and learn tools to create an emotionally fulfilling marriage.


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