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Conflict leads to Growth not to divorce - Dr. Ellen Kreidman PhD.

Posted by Dr. Ellen Kreidman on

For every action there is a reaction. For every trait there is a response to that trait. You must learn to react in a positive way and stop being judgmental. When you concentrate on a man’s strengths instead of his weaknesses, you get more positive behavior.

During an appearance on the Johnny Carson show many years ago, Mort Sahl once said, “Women always marry a man and hope he’ll change. Men always marry a woman and hope she never changes.”

Women seem to go into a relationship saying, “I know there are a lot of things about him that I don’t like, but wait until I get through with him. You won’t even recognize him.”

Men, on the other hand , say, “When I’m with this woman, I feel like a king. It’s wonderful. I hope she never changes. I always want to feel like this.” That, by the way, is why he wants to marry this woman. He wants to feel like her hero for the rest of his life.

Once you begin to focus on all the things you consider weaknesses and try to change him, the love you had in the beginning starts to die.

Wouldn’t it be simple if we fell in love with someone who was exactly like us – same interests, same personality, same sensitivities? Absolutely not! Do you know why? Because we are all on this journey called life in order to learn and grow, and you learn nothing when you’re always in complete agreement with another person. Conflict leads to growth – it does not have to lead to divorce.

Many years ago, I heard a lecture on the family, and someone asked him what he felt the American family’s biggest problem was. He answered that the biggest problem with the American family is that they think there should be no problems. Dr. Ellen agrees completely. Most men and women feel that conflict or problems mean the relationship cannot work. On the contrary, Dr. Ellen feels that a relationship cannot work unless there are problems and conflict. We know a couple from India whose marriage was arranged. They are happier than most couples we know, because they went into their marriage knowing it’s an ongoing process. Marriage is not an end, it’s a beginning.

In fact, they don’t even think of themselves as human beings, because that implies stagnation. Rather, they think of themselves as human becomings, which applies growth. So, all of you human becomings out there who are interested in growth must understand that there will always be conflict, especially because we are almost always attracted to someone who is different from ourselves. Even if you live alone, you have internal conflict. For example, sometimes I get really annoyed with myself and will actually argue with myself for saying or doing something without thinking. So if it’s so easy to get upset at yourself, how can you not get upset with someone else?

Dr. Ellen Kreidman's marriage saving programs:

Light Her Fire - Expert advice for men

Light His Fire - Expert advice for women

Light Your Own Fire - Self esteem & Self empowerment