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Family Strife—How Does It Happen?

Family Strife—How Does It Happen?

“WE USUALLY clash over money,” admits Sarah, * in Ghana, who has been married to Jacob for 17 years. She explains: “I feel angry because I do a lot to care for the family and Jacob never talks to me about our finances. For weeks we do not speak to each other.”

“Yes,” responds her husband, Jacob, “there are times when we exchange angry words. They are usually caused by misunderstandings and a lack of meaningful communication. Conflicts also occur because of our overreaction to situations.”

Newly married Nathan, in India, describes what happened one day when his father-in-law shouted at his mother-in-law. “She took offense,” he says, “and left the house. When I asked him why he had shouted like that, he felt that I, his son-in-law, was insulting him. Next thing I knew, he was shouting at all of us.”

Perhaps you too have observed how a few badly timed or ill-chosen words can cause much strife in the home. What may begin as a calm exchange of thoughts can quickly spiral into a verbal slugging match. Nobody can say exactly the right thing all the time, so it can be easy to misinterpret what others say or to misconstrue their motives. Nevertheless, it is possible to enjoy a measure of peace and harmony.

What can you do when heated arguments erupt? What steps can you take to restore peace and serenity in the family? How can families maintain peace in the household? Please read on.

^ par. 3 Some names in these articles have been changed.