Mary faces two conflicts in "Lamb to the Slaughter." The first occurs early in the story when Patrick tells her that he wants a divorce. This news shocks Mary to her core because she loves Patrick and does not want him to leave her. Thus, she responds by hitting Patrick over the head with a frozen leg of lamb. Patrick's death resolves this conflict because she no longer has to worry about getting a divorce since she makes herself a widow.
Mary's second conflict occurs after the murder when she is considering what to do next. As the wife of a police detective, Mary knows that many murderers are executed and she is worried that her unborn child might also be killed:
"What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did they kill them both—mother and child?"
Not wanting to take the risk, Mary resolves this conflict by covering up her crime. She develops an alibi (by visiting the grocery store) and feeds the murder weapon to the police detectives who visit her home.