Conflicts which lead to unresolved issues can influence the quality of the marriage. Although several research was made on marital relationships, the factors which influence the arising of continuous conflicts are still not clear. Unresolved issues are problems which are continuously brought up in a marriage. However, marital conflicts are not the only source of unresolved issues in a relationship. Unresolved conflicts within the marriage can affect the longevity and quality of the marriage, but personal background and individual trauma contribute to marital problems more often than conflicts within the marriage. In fact, marital conflicts are usually started because of personal unresolved issues. If a person develops a behavioral property because of environmental factors prior to a marriage, or even during marriage, that one person can endanger the marital satisfaction and longevity.
A study by Carnstensen, Gottman, and Levenson (1995) aimed to explore emotional behaviors in long-term marriages. They have come to the conclusion that older people often show more affection in their relationship while younger or middle age marriages. Although older couples have had their conflicts before, affection and love proved to be the most dominant emotions. However, unhappy marriages exist in all age categories. This research suggests that optimizing positive emotional experiences and minimizing negative experiences is the only way of achieving a happy marriage. Furthermore, it suggests that some couples have learned to remain neutral during discussions and disagreements, so they do not aim to change the other's opinions and beliefs. This behavior prevents escalations of deeper emotional problems which would eventually endanger the marital relationship again in the future.
Emotions can have a cumulative effect. Suppressing emotions will create unresolved issues which do not go away on their own accord. Suppressing thoughts and emotions creates a subconscious tension in the mind, and it is possible that this tension causes a new argument in the future. However, as the research by Carnstensen, Gottman, and Levenson (1995) states, older couples have learned to let the other person retain their beliefs and opinions. This behavior allows them to achieve a happy marriage, unlike those couples which respond aggressively to differences in their personal opinions. However, this research does not state why people introduce possessive and dominant behavior in their relationships. This behavior can only lead to arguments and negative emotions in a marriage.
Beaton, Norris, and Pratt (2003) support this by claiming that unresolved issues do not necessarily cause tension in the family. “From our perspective, conflict refers to those issues in relationships that couples overtly verbally or nonverbally express continually” (Beaton, Norris, & Pratt, 2003, p. 144). Although they focus on intergenerational communications within the family, they point out that unresolved...