Sunday, January 25, 2015

Family Planing Seminar 2 - conflict resolution workshop??

As I have said in the previous posted blog entry, to attend a family planing seminar is mandatory as a process of marriage here in the Philippin.  A seminar starting from  how to use contraceptive is almost ending. Last topic is conflict resolution. By the way, government staffs did not use the term conflict resolution but I think it suits this workshop. 

It is my field! (My MA is international peace studies.)

Facilitator introduced three conflicting situations. Participants discuss these three situations with own partner. 

Three questions are family relational issue, financial issue and issue of another woman. 

Situation 1
Wife cannot like mother in law.(This is very critical anywhere in the world but it is critical here in the Philippines because of strong family tie) For some reasons, mother in law is going to stay in this couple's house for 1 week. For this, husband and wife get into the quarrel. How to settle this issue?

Situation 2
Husband and wife do not have enough money. So they have to borrow the money from someone. Wife expect husband to take a role to borrow some money from his relatives and husband expect other way around, wife will do this for them. Who should take an action and how to settle this issue?

Situation 3
On the relation of husband's work, he meets the woman who is work related. Meetings are happening often eventually wife starts doubting husband might have affair. He insisted to his wife nothing is happening between him and that woman. But she cannot remove suspicion.  

How will you answer these with your partner?

After we discuss between partners, we are allowed to share what we discuss.  I did not volunteer because I was very interested in how other people will answer this. 

By the way, all seminar has done in Tagalog language. I tried to follow...

Answer from the participants
Situation 1, husband and wife will discuss. 
Situation 2, 
Targeting relative who may have "extra" money, if that relative is wife side, then wife will ask to borrow from that relative, and other way around. Or two of them is going to ask that relatives.

Situation 3, 
Husband requests the company to change his position. 

Hummmmm....are you serious? I reacted to these answer in my mind. (I shared partially to my husband) 

For the first one, hey it is quite sure that husband and wife discuss on that. But they did not answer what manners and where they want to settle. And they do not try to see the cause.!
For the second situation, why people start to discuss from borrowing. If it is emergency such as hospitalization,  I can understand. Lacking finance means that family tends to have such issue. It means borrowing money can be temporary solving this issue but not forever. I think the couple needs to think other options such as looking for better earning job or having small business to have additional income and so on...Why people need to start thinking from borrowing? 
For third situation, is this husband going to ask to his boss to change his position by saying my wife is jealous to the client. He may create the more better reason. But it is not realistic because husband may lose his opportunity to get promoted.  

How can I answer these questions?
If I was asked to be a volunteer to share my thoughts, I would have said...

Situation 1
In this case, mother in law and wife do not live under the same roof. However, wife does not like mother in law. (It maybe other way around. )
There must be an event or accumulating the small stuffs between them.  Unless parties, especially person willing to intervene this (latent)"conflict" should know what is the root cause.
But problem here is possible mediator most probably, husband. Then of cause, it is difficult to bear with wife's complain about his mother as a Filipino. So, I am not sure that whether he can be a mediator in this case or not.
Still, ideally husband will be buffer. 

Situation 2
For me, I am quite wondering why to borrow money is assumption of all discussion. The reason why they have to borrow money was not mentioned. It might be emergency. But I think in general, the couple in this story does often experience shortage of money. So in the future, they may need to ask people around them time to time. In this case, better option can be change mean of earning. If what they get monthly is not sufficient enough, they have to find the way to earn more than they did.  Borrowing after borrowing is not constructive. 

Situation 3
Does company agree to change his position that quick? Even successfully his requested was accepted by his boss, it may take certain time to be enforced.
For me, more realistic way to think this situation, he can try to have a meeting with one more person, and try not being only two of them.
Basically, there must be another issue when wife worry about her husband. In direct but maybe effective way is to increase the time to be with. They better try remembering the first stage of their relationship. 
If the husband is really into that female client, the couple did not meant to be together. 

In sum, I do not think all participants thought the situation as realistic as possible. In fact, they seems just happy to sit next to their future wife and husband.  As of now, it means it is not so useful. But I hope they will remember this once they encounter these the relationship, money and sex related issues.

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