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Dysfunctional Conflict A Newlyweds Nightmare I have been married for almost eight months In these past eight months I have learned a lot about myself and my wife Amber I have come to learn that conflict isnt always bad Conflict can be beneficial if both parties argue in a functional manner I was taught that you fall in love get married and then get the world but soon after my wedding day I learned otherwise In this paper I will address two examples of dysfunctional conflict from my own marriage and then I will discuss in detail why the conflict is dysfunctional the consequences the possible outcomes if the conflict was handled functionally and how I could have communicated differently to make the conflict more functional Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals scarce rewards and interference from the other party in achieving their goals Adler Lawrence and Proctor II 351 This means that there is something getting in the way of resolving a problem For example if I want to stay up and watch TV and my wife wants to go to sleep early a conflict appears There are two different ways to deal with a conflict The first is to deal with it functionally This means to try and realize that the other persons needs are legitimate too Adler et al 355 The other way is to handle it in a dysfunctional manner by communication that is coercive uncooperative and unfocused Adler et al 385 The two conflicts I will discuss in this paper have to do with my wife and the recent conflicts that we have faced The first conflict that I will address took place at Disneyland We had a disagreement about leaving the park for lunch I wanted to leave the park at lunchtime and return to the hotel to eat but my
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