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Marital Conflict Resolution

Main Core Tie

Adult Roles And Responsibilities
Strand 4

Additional Core Ties

Adult Roles and Financial Literacy
Strand 6 Standard 3




Students will be able to identify common adjustments and methods of conflict resolution as related to marriage and apply conflict resolution and problem-solving strategies to resolve common scenarios of marital conflict including financial issues.


Supplementary Resources:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. By John M. Gottman Ph. D. Three Rivers Press, 1999

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail…and How You can Make Yours Last by John Gottman, PhD. Simon and Schuster 1994.

Dimensions of Family Life, Stephen R. Jorgensen and Gail H. Henderson, South-Western Publishing Co., 1990.

Married and Single Life, Audrey Palm Riker and Holly E. Brisbane, Glencoe, 1984

What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women, Tyndatle House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 0-8423-7889-8

An excellent resource for this topic is: James H.S. Brossard and Elanor S. Boll, Ritual in Family Living, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1950 and Family Matters, Smith, Rebbecca M., and MaryLin Apicelli, Glencoe, 1982.

PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS TO MARITAL PROBLEMS--Video is available from Knowledge Gain, 703 South State Street, Suite One, Orem, Utah 84058, 801-225-9588, $14.95.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION FOR COUPLES Audiotape, by Susan Heitler, ISBN 1884998070

Still More Activities that Teach by Tom Jackson, Red Rock Publishing ISBN 0-9664633-5-8

Instructional Procedures

Use the Vocabulary Worksheet and Key (pdf).

Primary Vocabulary:

  • Compromise
  • Accommodation
  • Concession
  • Martyrdom
  • Hostility

Read Do Not Trifle Over Trivia (pdf) with students. Have students comment on which items they deal with and are important to them. Describe that these are very trivial matters, but can grow into huge conflicts if couples do not learn good conflict resolution skills. Ask students to list other issues that they know couples argue over.

Content Outline, Activities and Teaching Strategies
(All options do not necessarily need to be taught. Select ones to cover standards and objectives and according to your district policies.)

Option 1: Discussion/PowerPoint Presentation
Discuss various methods of problem solving by viewing the Will We Ever Adjust PowerPoint.

Option 2: Scenarios
Divide students into groups of two. Have them discuss and write down conflict resolution techniques for the Adjustment Scenarios (pdf) or have students come up and role play the various situations using the different methods. You can have students describe how the couples would resolve their conflict using some of the various method discussed previously.

Option 3: Video Clips
Show and discuss the Following Video Clips about Constructive Marital Conflict Resolution at:

Option 4: Review
Review basic Principles of Conflict Resolution from ARFL Lesson 4.4 or ARR 2.3.

Option 5: Managing Conflict Successfully
Discuss Managing Conflict Successfully Article or other applicable articles from

Option 6: Articles
Read and Discuss various articles about resolving marital conflict over financial issues. The Resolving Marital Conflict Over Money article (pdf) or choose another article from

Option 7: Activity
Blow Hard Activity, pg 52, from Still More Activities that Teach by Tom Jackson, Red Rock Publishing ISBN 0-9664633-5-8. Discuss how blowing up and acting mad does not solve problems.

Option 8: Can This Marriage Be Saved?
Obtain articles for Can this Marriage be Saved, and have students read each side of the conflict and have them write their advice and compare it to the advice from the marriage counselor. Use the Can This Marriage Be Saved Teacher Information (pdf) and the Can This Marriage Be Saved Worksheet (pdf).

Option 9: Conflict Strategies
Have students complete the Conflict Strategies Worksheet (pdf).

Option 10: Health Effects of Marital Conflict
Read and discuss the article on Health Effects Of Marital Conflict (pdf).

Option 11: Peaceful Solutions to Marital Problems
View the video and have students complete the accompanying worksheet (pdf). The video is available from Knowledge Gain, 703 South State Street, Suite One, Orem, Utah 84058, 801-225-9588, $14.95.

Option 12: Marital Interview
Have student complete Marital Interview (pdf) for homework.

Option 13: Gottman Island Survival Game
Play the Gottman Island Survival Game (pdf) from Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work pg. 123-126 by John Gottman, to illustrate the principle of allowing your partner to influence your behavior. Debrief by answering questions at the end of the game.

It is not realistic to think that you can get through marriage without some conflicts How we learn to deal with conflict can strengthen your marriage. See Teacher Background Notes (pdf) for Marital Conflict/Resolution.

Created: 08/01/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018