I often have people come to me, and they think they're going to kind of snow me. They'll say, "Dr. Warren, you know Linda and I have never had any conflict at all. And we don't think we're ever really going to have any." I'm thinking to myself, "Okay then, you're not ready to get married. How am I going to handle this?"

What I try to say to them is conflict is inevitable in any relationship. You're going to have it. The fact that you haven't had it has not given you a chance to determine whether you have one of the most important skills of all for marriage: Whether you know how to resolve your conflict.

You must know if you can resolve conflict before you take a chance on getting married. The reason I say that is that I have known so many people who have gotten married, had the inevitable conflict, discovered they weren't very good at resolving it and ended up getting divorced.

My goodness. One of two things should've happened. First, they should've found out before they got married that they weren't any good at resolving conflict, and second, someone along the way should've been teaching them how to resolve conflict.

In the next article of my series on conflict management I'm going to give you a five-step rock solid technique for managing conflict. See you then.


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