Conflicts between spouses

Negative Conflict Between Spouses

Interpersonal conflicts may arise from personal factors, cultural factors, role differences, social and physical environments, or the nature of the message given in the communication process. It is possible to count personality traits, characteristics of the relationship between spouses and environmental characteristics among the opinions put forward regarding the causes of conflict in marriage. However, marital relations can sometimes become a serious conflict area as well as contributing to the well-being of the spouses. Spouses often experience conflicts on issues such as having different expectations from each other or marriage, communication problems, lack of love, cultural differences, sexual problems, financial issues, role conflicts, power struggles, various habits such as alcohol and gambling, and cheating. and it is seen that the solution of each must be different from the other. What matters is how couples resolve conflicts in marital adjustment and how they react to recurring reasons in the process.

Reasons for Conflict Between Spouses:

Kılıçarslan (2006) collects the factors that cause conflict between couples under four main headings:

1. Psycho-social problems arising from the union of men and women

2. Socio-economic problems for living together

3. Problems with parents and children, relatives of parents

4. Sexual problems of husband and wife

Psycho-social problems between spouses; It can be explained as problems that arise as a result of multidimensional interactions such as customs, traditions, beliefs, moral sanctions, and social values. Sharing the same culture, differences in food, celebration, mourning, clothing and living conditions cause problems from time to time.

Socio-economic problems; conflict and disharmony in families in the lower socio-economic segment, mostly the inability to meet their material needs; In the middle and upper socio-economic segments, it appears as emotional interaction and psychological factors. The fact that the man is the only working person in the family, habits such as gambling, drinking or laziness, economic inadequacy and material needs often bring to the surface repressed and hidden emotional problems.

Problems with parents and children, relatives of parents; Rather, the meaning of life between generations, the identification of needs and emotional differences and the intricate relationships that occur in mother-in-law, bride/groom relationships cause such problems. There are individuals who do not speak the same language and do not feed on the same basic culture, especially in relations with children in the family. The achievements of children from social life, education process, virtual world, global culture and modern life do not coincide with the life philosophy of the upper generations and there is a parent-child conflict. One of the most important protective methods to prevent problems that may occur with children is effective communication.

In family communication, the level of awareness of spouses towards their children, their educational background, tendencies, constructs, levels of interest, and their competence in behaving in accordance with their developmental processes are a matter of debate.

Sexual problems between spouses; perhaps the most intimate part of the conflict issues between spouses. In order for spouses to achieve sexual satisfaction, they must be able to share their sexual feelings. When reasons such as inability to meet sexual needs, inability of spouses to share their sexual feelings with each other, one-sided sexual satisfaction, insufficient stimulation of sexual impulses are not clearly expressed, other problems are magnified and conflicts between spouses increase indirectly for simple reasons. Experiences of people with family counseling; It has been shown that situations that are subconscious as a sexual problem, cannot be talked about, cannot be resolved and disturb the individual, are the triggers of many different reasons that are shown as the cause of conflict in the family.

In addition to these, when we look at the other causes of conflict, incompatible personality traits of the spouses, children, relatives, friends, financial opportunities or impossibilities, career differences, time and timelessness, place of residence, how to spend free time, social activities, who will do the housework, who will make the right decision. It is seen that there are conflicts on issues such as religious-sectarian differences, politics, which movie to go to, which house or car to buy.

Weiten (1986) stated that conflicts in marriage; Spouses’ unrealistic expectations of marital happiness, spouses having different role expectations from each other, marital economic problems, lack of communication, problems related to relatives, sexual problems between spouses, differences of opinion between spouses about raising and discipline of children, differences of opinion, developing new interests, establishing a new environment or friendships, and the other spouse’s inability to adapt to it, spouses developing themselves in different ways from each other, jealousy, infidelity, criticism, ending of love. However, it is an undeniable fact that individuality, egocentrism, libertarianism, dominance, and not being taken care of are the underlying causes of all these conflicts.

Socio-economic and structural factors such as industrialization, urbanization, technological revolution and globalization process, digital culture’s siege of modern life, affect the family deeply today. With the modernization in societies, the spread of communication technologies, changes in family culture, value and structure, education level, change in the living environment. Today, it can be seen that families have entered a transformation process for many reasons. There are significant changes in the structure, type, size and functions of the family. The extended family turns into a shrunken nuclear family, and its functions in some areas such as education, orientation, and vocational training are transferred to other social institutions.

These conflicts between spouses are inherent in every marriage relationship and can be repeated continuously. The main problem is currently seen as the inability to resolve the argument and conflict between the spouses.

Failure to resolve these conflicts within the family leads to deterioration in the family and its functions. Many problems such as health problems, psychological problems and behavioral disorders are experienced in these families where unresolved conflicts are experienced.

Individual and Social Problems of Negative Conflict Between Spouses:

Although marriage is a source of love and happiness for individuals, it can also be a source of problems and conflicts because it is formed by the coming together of two people of different characters. If the conflicts in the marriage are experienced frequently and cannot be resolved, the quality of the relationship between the spouses decreases. Conflict occurs to different degrees in different couples. It ranges from conflicts approximately once a week for couples whose relationships are not in trouble, to one or more conflicts a day for troubled couples. Under the phrase ‘severe incompatibility’ in divorce cases, there is the phenomenon of active or passive conflict experienced by couples. The violence and conflict environment in the memory of the social layers of the last 25-30 years; It differentiated the social structure, which adopted the traces of the economic and feudal pattern, and gave a legitimacy to the drifts in the new life spiral that emerged with urbanization. Harmony in marriage is the opposite of conflict. harmony in marriage; It is the ability of the spouses, who make up the family and are responsible for maintaining domestic peace, to establish their homes in harmony with each other and to continue this in a healthy and peaceful way. Generally, those who share the same ideas and values ​​as themselves, have the same religion, social segment and similar education level can adapt more successfully within the family. Spouses can overcome their problems arising from differences in feelings and thoughts through dialogue and mutual respect and love criteria. Establishing a dialogue instead of judging and providing the opportunity to express their own feelings and thoughts will contribute to the elimination of the problem before it starts. Conflict consists of elements that prevent harmony and create dissonance.

When the literature on marital relations and conflict is examined, it is seen that many studies have been conducted on close relationships and the concept of conflict has been defined in different ways. Bradbury defined conflict as an interpersonal process observed when one person’s behavior interferes with another’s. According to Bradbury, conflict begins with the perception of one of the spouses that the other party is preventing or about to prevent their own wishes in terms of marriage. It is a process that includes perceptions, emotions and behaviors. According to Bradbury, Fincham, and Beach, conflict is known as a process in which an individual’s behavior is observed to inhibit the behavior of another individual. The greater the interdependence between two people in a marriage, the greater the interactions and the more reasons for disagreements. Because interdependence creates an obstacle in revealing one’s potential, adapting to interpersonal relationships and self-realization, and paves the way for mental disorders.

Especially difficult processes, extreme events and transition periods increase the possibility of conflict of individuals. For example, the frequency of conflict is felt more dominant in difficult processes such as unemployment, illness, pregnancy and infant death during marriage. Spouses who have constant conflicts in their marital relations and whose conflicts often result in disappointment, sadness and resentment, rather than logical resolutions, gradually lose the pleasure and satisfaction they get from their marriage, causing a certain decrease in the love, commitment and trust of the spouses to each other. Thus, the stress level of the family increases, and disruptions and deteriorations occur in family and marital functions. While the endless conflicts of the spouses start with physical and psychological diseases in individuals, it is known that psychological diseases and behavioral disorders occur in children who are in the middle of the conflict.

Examining the Negative Conflict Between Spouses from the Perspective of the Individual:

the family i live in It is one of the examples of negative conflict. According to the science of psychology, childhood trauma is among the worst traumas a person can experience. I have experienced this in every negative way from the day I remember myself to my parents’ divorce. My father had psychological problems, the cause of which I do not know. This had an extremely negative effect on his marriage to my mother and his behavior towards me. When I read about communication barriers, I saw that almost every communication barrier, especially giving orders, judging, blaming and being questioned excessively, is experienced in our family. The fear I experienced because of my father caused many psychological negativities in me, including my mother, from not being able to express ourselves adequately, to finding ourselves too afraid in an event that gave us anxiety. My mother and I still receive psychotherapy.

Examining Negative Conflict Between Spouses in Terms of Societies:

The family institution, which continues its existence in every period from the past to the present and is an indispensable and indispensable institution in the individual and social life of people, is like the leaves of a large plane tree that forms societies, cultures and states. Investing in the family is the most important duty for the existence of that society. There is no doubt that they have always wanted to raise healthy individuals. In this, the concept of family is given great importance. The family is the pillar of the society, if this pillar is damaged or destroyed, it means the destruction of the society. Since the societies knew the importance of this structure, they established ministries on the family. The existence of negative conflict in the family will have great negative effects on the psychology of the individuals in the family, and when this is reflected on the society, which is the absolute mandatory area in which people live, it will cause more harm to the society than necessary. In today’s modern countries, they value the psychological health of each individual as much as their physiological health. The reason for this is that the psychological problem that even a person will experience will at least spread to the place where that person lives. A person can create a butterfly effect in the country, causing negative damage from his neighborhood, to his province, to the whole country. The only asset of an individual that has always been with him from the moment he was born is his family. The family is the basic building block that makes the individual an individual. The healthy functioning of this structure means their return to society as healthy individuals. No matter how much cultural accumulation and wealth they have, societies in which the family structure has deteriorated may lose their important place in the world, even their country, after a while.

Suggestions to Prevent Negative Conflict Between Spouses:

Spouses in families that have changed with the effect of rapid social and technological developments have been exposed to the negative effects of this change. First of all, new strategies should be developed to analyze the structure, causes and consequences of conflict, depending on the changes in the structure of peer-to-peer relationships.

Against the negative situations affecting the family institution, professional studies should be carried out by the social state and applicable policies should be produced to improve the situation.

Considering that the spouses who have conflicts in the marital relationship cannot find a solution and the arguments and conflicts continue to grow, easily accessible family counseling centers should be expanded and their functions should be increased to solve the problems of the spouses.

Before the conflicts between the spouses reach the stage of divorce, awareness should be created among the spouses about problem solving by getting help from an expert.

Unconsciousness underlies many conflicts experienced by spouses. Families who do not have enough information about marriage and spouse; Consciousness should be created among spouses by giving pre-marital education during marriage and marriage education while married.

In order to determine whether this education program, which will be given to families, has a long-term effect, follow-up studies should be carried out and the problems should be corrected in a short time.

These trainings for families should be free of charge, and communication skills should be transferred practically, and counseling services should be provided to develop conflict resolution styles.

For the continuation and happiness of family unity, protective, educational and preventive services should be given priority, and families in low and middle socio-economic levels with higher divorce rates should be given priority.

Spouses during conflict; He should not try to read his wife’s mind, listen to ideas without prejudice, always maintain a positive attitude, avoid accusations and criticism, try to understand why he thinks so even if he does not agree with his wife, and should respect her ideas.


Marriage conflicts do not always represent a negative marriage, and conflict-free marriage does not always represent a good marriage. However, conflicts between couples increase the negative behaviors of spouses, couples enter into more conflicts with the increase of negative behaviors, and this vicious circle reduces the level of satisfaction in marriage.

Conflict does not help resolve problems between spouses. On the contrary, it causes negative emotions such as resentment, hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, feeling of not being understood, anger, hatred, etc. Moreover, these ongoing conflicts cause couples to react to each other over time, and these reactions do not remain verbal, but lead to behaviorally negative attitudes. Thus, these conflicts, which grow and multiply between couples, lead to divorce.

Family communication is the exchange of information between family members. It is claimed that the fact that family members always have an effective and continuous communication between them and that they share and share their bitter and sweet lives with each other creates a positive environment in order to maintain a balanced and healthy life in the family. It is stated that an effective communication allows people in the family to get to know each other better, to ensure unity in the use of resources, to coordinate behaviors, to determine goals, and to allow people to respect themselves. Unhealthy communication, on the other hand, is the closedness of verbal communication between family members, the indirect way people express what they want to say. Marriage is a communication and interaction system. Spouses need to interact with each other in order to reveal and express their spiritual, social and sexual expectations and messages to each other. One of the prerequisites of a harmonious marriage is healthy communication. Communication determines the quality of marital life as it includes opening up, being together and exchanging thoughts.


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