My husband and I have been married for over 23 years. We met in the 7th grade and started dating when we were Juniors in high school. We know everything there is to know about each other. We love each other very much and we care deeply for one another. So.... Why do we fight?
It is because we are different. We may be one as husband and wife, but that doesn't mean we think alike or even like the same things. As a matter of fact, we are opposites in many ways. I am a control freak who wants everything perfect; he could care less if their are crumbs on the floor or dishes piled in the sink. I love to write and read, he loves to play video games. I enjoy watching comedies, he likes action or sci-fi movies. Due to our many differences, we have to compromise on a daily basis.
When conflicts do arise... and they do..... we have arguments and disagreements. I don't think these spats are unavoidable all the time, although there are some that are just miscommunication on our part. We don't say what we mean, we are mean in how we say it. This happens when many issues are frustrating us and we are not discussing them at the time they occur. These feelings then build up and we blow our stack. We are a lot like tea kettles. We allow ourselves to fill up with steam, then when we can't take the pressure one more minute, we let it all go and the sound we make is like a screeching whistle that pierces the ears of the one listening. It hurts them. It makes them uncomfortable.
How do we solve this problem? How should we resolve conflicts? Well I am going to give you 5 ways not to fight and by avoiding these, you will learn how to disagree as a couple. Arguing is not what causes us to shut down and push our partners away, it's how we argue that can either cause separation or closeness.
I am going to be real with you here... these are from life experience not advice from a book. We are sinners saved by grace. My husband and I are a work in progress. As we surrender to God, he is teaching us to do things differently than we have in the past. Please learn from our mistakes. With God's help your marriage can thrive even in the midst of conflicts. With Christ at the center, He can bring peace in the middle of a storm.
Here we go......
#1. Don't allow tempers to soar during a disagreement. Agree to walk away and cool down before things are said that can't not be rescinded. If you don't walk away you may say things you will be very sorry for later. In the heat of the moment, you say things in a way that causes pain, not healing in your marriage.
#2. Don't allow yourself to tune out your spouse. They need to talk things out. Take them seriously. My husband has a bad habit of spacing out when I am talking to him. It makes me even more angry and then my temper soars and nothing gets resolved.
#3. Never fight in front of your children. I have failed in this area so many time in our early years of marriage that I lost count, but God corrected me and I am more aware now. I am a very passionate person, so it was hard to pay attention to what was around me when I am feeling frustrated. God is still working on me everyday.
#4. Don't disrespect your spouse during the argument. When you disrespect them it only adds fuel to the fire. Don't use words that belittle or put down your spouse. As a person who craves perfection, this one is hard for me to remember. I tend to use harsh words that show my frustration with my husband and this only causes resentment. The more I study God's Word, the more I realize how important my words are.
#5. Don't leave an issue to fester. Don't wait until your ready to blow up before talking to your spouse. I have done this and let me tell you it is not smart! It's better to talk things through frequently.
I want you to know that as I was writing this post, my computer had three major glitches. This is not normal! I believe Satan was fighting me all the way as I wrote this. He doesn't want families to thrive. He doesn't want marriages to succeed. He wants division so we are easy prey. We know in the Bible that there is strength in numbers. As it says in Matthew 18:20 - For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Let's not allow Satan to defeat us. Take back your marriage and family today! Pray for God's guidance and wisdom!