Constructs to Enhance Effective Marital Conflict Resolution

Couples, Premarital & Marital Therapy

According to Dildar and Amjad (2012), conflict is an unavoidable phenomenon that occurs because of disagreements, dislikes, and arguments that prevails at all levels of human interaction including personal, professional, family, and social relationships. Gottman, (1994) asserts, “If there is one lesson I have learned from my years of research it is that a lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship” (p. 28). Marchand and Hock (2000) conflict resolution strategies are typified by interpersonal behaviors and are the means used by couples to resolve marital conflict. According to Grumman, Lebow and Synder (2015), based on Gottman Couple Therapy, the therapist provides the couple with “blueprints” (p. 135). “There are three blueprints: one for dealing with current conflict, one for dealing with past conflicts and emotional injuries, and one for dealing with conflict that have an existential basis (which we call “gridlocked” conflicts)” (p. 135). I posit that matching the relevant blueprints to couples’ unique conflict scenarios provides a viable vehicle for couples to be educated and trained on how best to resolve conflict.


Dildar, S. & Amjad, N. (2012). Gender differences in Conflict Resolution Styles (CRS) in different roles: A Systematic Review. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 15(2), 37-41. Retrieved from

Gottman J. (1994). Why marriages succeed or fail. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks

Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., & Synder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: The Guildford Press.

Marchand, J. F. & Hock, E. (2000). Avoidance and attacking conflict- resolution strategies among married couples: Relations to depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction. Family Relations, 49(2), 201-206. Retrieved from