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
- 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.
- 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.
- Never criticize a man’s ability to provide for his family
- Never criticize a women Ability to provide care for her family.
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.
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.