As stated, Chris and Olympia have been categorized as a conflicted couple. Their identifying weaknesses in areas of growth are also presentative of this coupling type. Lack of communication and no conflict resolution skills within the marriage relationship have become challenging, along with an inability to forgive. The lack of communication in a marriage can quickly lead to divorce. A marriage is made of two people with different backgrounds and a different way of communicating their wants and needs. Olympia has a difficult time expressing her thoughts, feelings, needs, and dislikes.
Chris, on the other hand, has no problem and freely expresses himself. Chris was raised in a two-parent household, and it may be easier for him to ask for what he needs. Whereas Olympia coming from a single-parent household may not have had choices concerning her wants or her needs. These factors and others can make it difficult for Chris and Olympia to communicate with one another effectively.
Petersen (2015) explains there are two different levels of communication.
Level one communication is when people give and receive information and discuss points of view (Petersen, 2015). At this level, communication is more factual, where the concern is with the factual exchange of information. Level two communication goes deeper than words, and it is personal, more relationship satisfying. This level connects feelings where trust, intimacy, and personal sharing is developed (Petersen, 2015). The level two communication is what Chris and Olympia need in their marriage relationship if they focus on developing level two, by improving listening skills, which leads to a better connection with others and extends a more fulfilling life.
Conflict resolution is another challenging area of concern for this conflicted couple. This category of assessment views the couple’s ability to discuss and resolve differences. Measuring how they successfully share opinions, ideas, and feelings, during times of conflict (Prepare/Enrich, 2012). Chris has some concerns about their ability to discuss and resolve issues but overall is satisfied with their conflict resolution. Olympia also has concerns about their inability to talk and resolve their differences. But unlike Chris, she does not see any strengths in the area of conflict resolution. A lack of communication in a relationship often leads to arguments resulting in no constructive way to resolve issues. Many relationship conflicts are also due to unrealistic or distorted views. Chris scored high on the interpretation of idealism, which indicates a distortion in the positive direction of his marital relationship. Olympia, on the other hand, has a more realistic view of their relationship, which in itself can be a source of conflict.
Forgiveness is also an area of weakness for Chris and Olympia. The category evaluates the couple’s perception of their ability to forgive one another after conflict, betrayal, or hurt (Prepare/Enrich, 2012). Both Chris and Olympia have some concerns about requesting or granting forgiveness. But, Chris does feel as though he has the ability to let go of past hurts.
According to Sheldon & Anthony (2019), “married couples who exhibit a higher tendency to forgive are also less likely to end their marriage through a divorce” (p. 234).
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