Many people find that living with someone produces conflict. You may find that you identify with either person in the following case study.

Many people find that living with someone produces conflict. You may find that you identify with either person in the following case study. The purpose of this activity is to apply correctly the key concepts, principles, and suggestions from Chapter 3 to the case study. However, think of this discussion as a group project in which you are a contributor. No one person should try to say everything possible in analyzing the case study but rather make a contribution and then permit and encourage others to help contribute to the overall discussion of the case study.

Read the following conflict narrative and the directions that follow it.

“I realize we made a serious commitment when we married, but I am unhappy with the way things are going, because I am holding down two jobs to make ends meet and my husband, Joe, hasn’t even looked for a part-time job. I also come home and find the house a mess. I don’t understand why he can’t do more to pull his end of this relationship. It seems unfair to me. I realize I am under a lot of pressure at work trying to hold down two jobs. I am worrying about losing one of my jobs if I can’t do more. That’s why I’ve been so difficult lately and easily upset. I realize that we fight a lot when I am under pressure from work. I expect him to understand that I can’t say anything at work, so sometimes I come home and take it out on him. I am sorry I really erupted last night and yelled at him. I guess I got a little carried away. I am not usually like that, but I thought he really deserved it.

I am getting tired of him putting me down in front of his parents. I really wanted to get even for all the pain he has caused me. Yesterday, I got my chance because his parents joined us for dinner. When I was alone with his mom, I told her that Joe is a terrible housekeeper, so I do all the housework so we aren’t embarrassed when people visit. I told her he said his mother did all the housework when he was growing up (which I knew wasn’t true). Later, his mother must have said something to Joe because he went to bed early and locked the bedroom door. That’s when I lost it and started yelling at him. I must have really hit a nerve. I had to sleep on the couch, but it was worth it. I felt good about getting even with him for all the nasty things he had said about me.”

“So today, we actually sat down and discussed what is going on with us. We were doing just fine until Joe lost his job a while back. We couldn’t make ends meet, so that is when I added the second job. He said that the problem finding another full-time job was depressing, and he was paralyzed and did not know how to turn things around. Ironically, Joe just told me that he didn’t know that I was upset over his lack of effort and help around the house and that he was offended by something I had told his mother. Joe said he can do more now that he knows how I feel. Joe said he will also try harder to get at least a part-time job, and he apologized for what he told his mom. He said it wouldn’t have bothered him if I had said something sooner and to him directly. Joe reminded me that he isn’t a mind reader so I have to tell him more what I am thinking, feeling, or needing.”

The above case study is an adaptation of three case studies that appear in Cahn, D., & Abigail, R.A. (2014), Managing conflict through communication (5th Edition), pp. 75-76.

For this discussion, please engage in the following:

  1. Read the case study
  2. Jot down what concepts you read in Chapter 3 that might apply to this scenario
  3. Define what the concept(s) is that fits this case
  4. State what behaviors you see happening that substantiate why you chose the concepts you have identified
  5. Write a 250-300 word post where you put together #2 and #3; this post should be in narrative form
  6. Include references to the textbook in your post; use the APA style guide
  7. Make sure to proofread for grammar

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