Inside: How we fight with our spouse has effects on the success of our marriage and our own personal health. Learn these 10 fight tips to resolve a conflict.
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A few years ago, my husband and I were headed into serious marital troubles. We fought in two different ways. He wanted to stay calm and talk it out, I, on the other hand, wanted to let my words flow and rip and then I’d cross my arms and storm away issuing the silent treatment.
The next day, I’d act like nothing was wrong. However, my words had wounded my husband’s heart.
One of the worst fights we had, I said I wanted a divorce. Of course, this wasn’t really how I felt, but these words re-injured a wound from my husband’s past. He had grown up watching his parents fight and divorce. Those memories had wounded his heart.
And here I was throwing darts into this wound.
Honestly, our fight about our marriage was what I wanted without asking how he felt.
Conflicts are a Part of Marriage
The fact of the matter is, conflicts and arguments are bound to happen in any human relationship. We are sinful after all. In the Garden of Eden before the Fall, Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony with each other.
After sin entered, so did arguments. I’m sure a lot of the arguments Adam and Eve had, we are still repeating today.Did you know, how you fight matters to the success of your marriage? #marriage #conflictresolution Click To Tweet
A study done by Brigham Young University concluded that the more arguments couples have the greater the risk of divorce and decrease in health. So not only does the way we fight lead to our chances of divorce, but it can affect our overall health and longevity.
If we want our marriages to last long-term, we need to learn how to agree to disagree.
The Two Ways to Fight
Destructive behaviors in fighting are yelling, insulting, not listening and criticizing. The person issuing this type of behavior usually feel right and isn’t open to seeing the other person’s point of view. It’s my way or the highway.
Constructive behaviors, on the other hand, involves actively listening, discussing the problem and working for a resolution, and saying nice things that build the other person up.
Here’s the thing, when one spouse fights in one of these behaviors and the other spouse fights in the other behavior, rarely is there resolution. Resentment grows and this conflict is repeated over and over again.
(Ephesians 4:26-27, NLT).
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Conflicts Bring GrowthConflicts in our marriages can be a door opening for the devil, therefore it’s pertinent we learn the right way to resolves arguments. #christianmarriage #conflictresolution Click To Tweet
Both spouses need to practice constructive behavior in fighting.
While most couples would like to stay as far away as they can from conflicts in their relationships, these periods are opportunities for growth. Through conflict, we can reach deeper intimacy with our spouse and we have the chance to exhibit God’s grace.
When we connect more with our spouse, this emotional connectedness flows into the bedroom. As you can see when we choose to resolve conflict, it affects the future success of our marriage.
The question of all questions when conflict arises:
What can I do to make you feel better about me and our relationship?
This question shifts the conversation to the big picture instead of focusing on the small, irritating things. The question also removes desires and expectations into reality.
10 Fight Tips:
- Don’t run from conflict.
- Remember expectations aren’t real.
- Slow down, take your time.
- Cool off, the heat of the moment can cause us to say foolish things.
- Speak with a purpose in mind: you can’t take back words that wound and tear.
- Don’t blame the other person
- Share your feelings, listen to the other person’s feelings
- Write out your issues
- Acknowledge feelings and point of view
- You’re a team, not two individual teams.
Conflicts Give us a Chance to Witness
Obviously, in relationships, you aren’t going to resolve the conflict the same way your spouse does. Striking a balance where you can work through issues and use it to grow more together is the key.
Having another couple to model how to resolve disagreements in marriage can be helpful since most of us didn’t grow up around healthy conflict resolution.
We need to work at working through and forgiving our spouse because remember God forgives us for any wrong we do against Him. Forgiving our spouse and working to connect is where we can living out our faith. We choose to love our spouse and forgive him.
Our spouse will make mistakes and hurt us and the same applies to us. We are able to forgive because God always forgives us.
(Ephesians 4:32, NLT).
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
It has taken a handful of years to practice and resolve conflict in more productive ways in my marriage. Does it mean I have it down pat? No, but every conflict is a way to practice these tips and grow as individuals and also as a couple.
Learning these fight tips have increased the connection in my marriage and have contributed to 19 years and counting in my marriage.