January | 2018 | Not Easily Broken

Conflict Resolution In Marriage

There is no Secret that in marriage arguments will occur. Conflict in marriage can be poisonous if not handled the right way. Dominating an argument can leave your spouse feeling rejected, and fighting in front of your children can make them feel insecure and possibly develop attachment issues. In many marriages you will find that unhealthy conflict has become the norm. You may be the person who shuts down during arguments or perhaps you are the type that gets so mad that the whole neighborhood hears you. Maybe you are the type that brings up the past when you are in an argument or you might remain calm but calls another later to gossip. None of these are better than the other, they are all bad. As a Newlywed or someone contemplating marriage, you have to realize that fighting fair is a skill you have to master for a healthy Marriage. During the dating phase the relationship is superficial, both individuals are putting their best self forward, so arguments may be non- existent. When you get married and live together (I strongly advise not to live with your partner until marriage- another blog for another day) it’s a different ball game. It doesn’t matter how much you and your spouse have in common, you are both very different, even if you both serve the lord. You will find that the way you celebrate holidays and birthdays are different, your concept of Family is different, the way you handle conflict will be different.   You might find that the way your respective families handle conflict will affect the way your spouse handles it. It is key for you to identify your conflict style early to prevent hurting your spouse. I realized that my Family is very blunt and we say how we feel, if you don’t know us that can come off as mean and abusive verbally. That aspect of me didn’t magically go away because I said “I do”. We must find out what our style is so we will not offend one another. At the beginning of my marriage my wife was the type that would shut down whenever I had an issue with something, this created a problem for me because it made me think that my wife did not care about how I felt. It caused arguments to blow out of proportion, to the point where we forgot what we were initially arguing about. We learned that to help one another we had to change. I needed her to show interest when I wanted to talk to her about something. I had to use my words wisely, not use words that hurt her. I want to offer a few tips in this blog to help readers fight fair. Here they are

General Hot-Button Issues

  1. Never compare your husband to another man. This includes, but is not limited to, your father, brother, men you have dated and other men in general.
  2. Men, never Compare your Wife to another woman, especially your Mother. Understand that your mother and your wife play two different roles. Your mother Raised you and was always a nurturer to you, your Wife is your Equal, she did not raise you so don’t expect her to treat you the same way your mother does. Don’t compare your wife’s food to your mom’s food and foolish things like that.
  3. Never criticize a man’s ability to provide for his family
  4. Never criticize a women Ability to provide care for her family.

No Fishing

If you do find yourself in an argument, stay on topic; don’t use this time venturing into your spouse’s past. Bringing up his/her past is actually condemning him/her. If you are in an argument about spending habits, keep the topic on that, don’t bring up an issue from years ago, you will never resolve the issue at hand.

Respect one Another

Don’t yell , especially in front of Kids. Remember a soft answer will turn away wrath. Also give your spouse eye contact when you speak to one another. Sometimes a soft touch while talking will calm a situation down. Don’t call each other names; you’re not in elementary school. Do not bring up divorce and don’t say other things you are going to regret. Stay away from phrases like “You always do this” or you never help me out. Words like always and never are blanket statements and should not be used. Don’t walk away abruptly or turn your back when your spouse is speaking to you. Watch your body language; body language speaks volumes to your spouse.

Don’t argue just to Argue

Argue with a goal. Arguments can be healthy when done right. Always look for a resolution. If you can’t find one, talk about it another time. Timing is important; you can’t always talk when you feel like it. Never argue in front of family, kids, church, while at work or over the phone. Ask your spouse if it is a good time to talk about it and if they say no, accept it and pick another time.

                 Forgive

When hurtful things are done, learn to forgive. Do not over analyze forgiveness. Give a second chance. Sometimes we are so hurt we can’t forgive because we can’t understand how spouse can be inconsiderate of feelings. Don’t analyze every motive or reason, just forgive. Because honestly there are times when the motive was to hurt you, but if they are asking for forgiveness, forgive. If they are not Sincere, God will not allow them to get away with it. Trust God, he is sovereign.

Everlasting Love Through Seasons of Change

When me and my Wife found out we were having a child, we were very happy. The news has already changed us tremendously. As a man I have obtained a huge burden of responsibility that I have never had before. My purpose in life seems so much deeper than it has ever been.  The news has also burdened me and my wife to strengthen our marriage as well. I imagine this will be the fastest I will ever fall in love with a person, as soon as I see the little person, in record time I will love him/her.  I would argue that I already do.  I remember how my parents loved me through my development, when I was a toddler, in elementary school, middle school, high-school, college and now in my late 20’s. The way my mom and dad loved their children is the same way I am going to love my children the same. Thinking on this, God dropped this little nugget into my life regarding my marriage.

The lady you take as your wife is going to go through changes, wishful thinking would suggest that she will go through positive changes, but that’s not always the case. Life experiences will change us, sometimes for better, but sometimes worst. The question you need to answer for yourself is this: can you love her through the changes? Can you love her through her victories and defeats? Can you love her if tragedy strikes and it seems like she is a completely different person? Can you love her if sickness comes? Can you love her when God uses her?  When he makes mistakes can you love him? Can you love him when money is funny? Can you love him/her through growth?

Yes newlywed, your wife/husband will go through changes as he/she grows. If you married “young”, trust and believe that the woman/man who you married at 21 will not be the same woman/man at 42 or 64. You will play a huge part in your mate’s development. Always cover your spouse in prayer, love them through the good and bad. Areas that you are stronger in, help your spouse; let your spouse help you in areas you are weaker in.  I always find it interesting how God calls us to be so intimate and close with our wives and to become one with them, this is interesting to me because we are not the same genetically, meaning a close relationship is guaranteed to take work. What I mean is this, look at your children, they share some of your DNA, they look like you, they come from you, and your kids truly are made up of 50% mom 50% Dad. This makes us instantly connected to our kids.  Our spouse does not share our DNA, but God requires this relationship of husband and wife to be paramount and priority in our life, a true team. God requires us to love our spouse through their changes just like we love our children through theirs. Oh, what a challenge we have! Challenge yourselves to love your spouse through the changes, because God loves you with an everlasting love!