Resolving Marital Conflict: A 5-Stage Problem-Solving Approach to Avoid Divorce

Problem Solving Approach to Avoid Divorce

Marital conflicts can be incredibly challenging and, if left unaddressed, may lead to the breakdown of a relationship. In the case presented, where the wife exhibits symptoms of OCD and antisocial behavior and compares her husband unfavorably with her past boyfriend, it is crucial to approach the situation with care and empathy. By employing a 5-stage problem-solving method, we will explore potential solutions to help the couple navigate their conflicts and find a path toward reconciliation.

First, Let’s explore a case:

The husband and wife in this situation are experiencing significant conflicts within their relationship. The wife exhibits symptoms of OCD and antisocial behavior and makes unfavorable comparisons between her husband and her past boyfriend. She frequently shouts at her husband, expressing a desire for divorce. Consequently, the husband consistently experiences anxiety and depression due to her behavior.

To exacerbate matters, the wife has distanced herself from her husband twice, for durations of three months and two months, during which she ceased communication. This only intensified the husband’s frustration. Despite his efforts to initiate discussions with the wife’s relatives, they have shown no initiative in resolving the problem. Additionally, one particular relative consistently exhibits fear, causing the in-law members to communicate exclusively through him.

Despite the challenges, the husband has maintained a positive outlook on their relationship. However, he carries emotional pain because his wife has used derogatory language and physically harmed him. Furthermore, the wife decided to have an abortion without considering or prioritizing her husband’s opinion, further adding to their conflicts.

Stage 1: Identifying and Understanding the Issues:

In this case, the wife’s behavior and past experiences have been major sources of conflict. Her symptoms of OCD, antisocial behavior, and constant comparisons with her past boyfriend have strained the relationship.

Additionally, her extended periods of separation and lack of communication have intensified the husband’s frustration and emotional distress. It is important to identify the root causes of these issues and understand how they impact both individuals.

Stage 2: Seeking Professional Help:

Given the complexity of the wife’s symptoms and the husband’s deteriorating mental health, the couple should seek professional help. Engaging the services of a therapist or counselor experienced in couples therapy can provide a neutral and supportive environment for both individuals to express their feelings and work toward a resolution.

Therapy sessions can help the wife manage her symptoms, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and explore the underlying reasons for her behavior. Simultaneously, the husband can express his emotions and receive guidance on how to cope with anxiety and depression caused by the conflict.

Stage 3: Establishing Effective Communication:

Clear and respectful communication is paramount for any successful relationship. Both husband and wife must commit to improving their communication skills. Establishing an environment where both parties feel heard and understood is essential.

This involves active listening, expressing emotions without aggression or blame, and fostering empathy. The couple should set aside dedicated time for open dialogue and regularly check in with each other to address concerns and discuss their thoughts and feelings.

Stage 4: Seeking Mediation and Involving Family:

If the couple’s attempts to resolve their issues independently and with professional help prove unsuccessful, seeking mediation can provide a valuable avenue for resolution. A trained mediator can facilitate constructive conversations and guide the couple toward mutually acceptable solutions.

Additionally, involving trusted family members who can act as mediators and provide unbiased perspectives may help bridge the gap between the couple, provided they are willing to participate objectively and without favouritism. This involvement can foster understanding and support the process of reconciliation.

Stage 5: Building a Shared Vision and Commitment:

The final stage of the problem-solving method is to work together to create a shared vision for the future. Both husband and wife must identify common goals and values and commit to making positive changes in the relationship.

This stage is crucial to building trust and addressing individual and shared concerns. Regular reassessment and maintenance of the relationship are necessary to ensure continued growth and a lasting resolution. Both individuals must be patient, understanding that healing and growth take time.


Navigating marital conflicts requires a systematic problem-solving approach to avoid divorce and rebuild a healthy relationship. By acknowledging the issues, seeking professional help, improving communication, involving mediation and family, and committing to a shared vision, the couple described can find a path toward resolution and rediscover the love and support they once had. Both individuals must be committed and patient throughout this process, understanding that healing and growth take time. With dedication and a willingness to work together, they can overcome their challenges and emerge stronger as a couple.

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