Healthy Marriage Habits Quiz #5 – Caretaking in Conflict

The most important thing in problem-solving is not, actually, solving the problem.  Rather, it’s how well you take care of each other as you work together to find solutions to the problem.  Think about it.  If you manage to find a solution to a particular challenge in your life or relationship, but walk away from your conversation with your spouse feeling demoralized, resentful, exhausted and out-of-synch, what good is it?  Solving problems is important, but how you solve those problems is even more important.

Dr. Daniel Seigel (2013) notes that people who are good at problem-solving tend to be kinder than people who are not good at problem-solving.  He notes that kindness–which happens to be one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)–is more than simply being nice to one another, it is  actually a sign that our brain is working properly and able to focus on solutions.   Caretaking in conflict allows your brain and your spouse’s brain to overcome strong emotions that are obstacles to solutions.

How important is developing this skill to your marriage?