“…The tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
10 Ways To Fight Fair In Your Marriage – Part 2
6. Avoid Personal Attacks – Especially as you are younger in your marriage, you won’t know each other as well. When you discover something about him that is, well, annoying, you have to determine not to attack his character. One of the most hurtful things you can do is “label your spouse.” Many of the labels our parents, teachers and friends gave us as children stick with us our whole lives. These words and labels can control and damage our relationships. Your words should NEVER be a personal attack. Instead, use phrases like, “Help me understand why…” and “When you do this, it’s hard for me…” Once you make it personal, there is no cool-headed conversation. An ounce of encouragement can go a long way. Once you find yourself in a personal attack, back off and take a time-out.
7. Be Truthful, Then Trust – This sounds almost ridiculous but it is important to operate with correct information. I have seen so many couples fight over jumping to assumptions that aren’t even true! If you have a truth problem, your marriage can never grow in intimacy. Among us there are those who have been jaded and betrayed, therefore it is harder for us to trust. The foundation of marriage is built on trust. I’m not saying being naive, but if your marriage is going to grow, you must learn to trust more.
8. Learn to Listen – I know, I know, this is comical right? You expect me to listen when I am frustrated? One thing that will grow your ability to disagree with civility is your ability to listen. If you are always interrupting and always building your “case” while the other person is talking, you are acting like an emotional child. When you listen it is important for your spouse to know you heard him or her. PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING. This is an exercise where one person talks at a time, then the other person repeats back to make sure the message got delivered. “What I heard you say was…” If this is done, you both know you are communicating effectively. It is important though that ONE PERSON TALKS at a time! You can’t listen with your mouth flapping. Then you switch roles and the other person listens and repeats back.
9. Don’t Win, Heal – You learn quickly in marriage “when you win, you lose.” You should not be about being right and being in control, but perfect love drives out fear. Often times, people are afraid of losing, ANYTHING. This includes arguments. Look your spouse in the eye this week and say, I will never win another argument. It might seem a bit extreme, but when the motives are wrong in fighting, there is NEVER a resolution, just a temporary break from the fight. I have counseled more couples where it was evident two people wanted to win the argument. Then when asked they had the audacity to accuse the other person of just wanting to win the argument. If you happen to be married to someone who likes to fight, and enjoys confrontation, you will probably need to see a counselor ASAP!
10. Pray Together Regularly – Want to fight less? Then pray for and with one another. Two people who pray together will find it harder to fight about stupid little things. You learn to “let things go” and not be bitter and eventually grow in your spiritual intimacy with your spouse. If you have never tried this, START! You will be amazed at the level of intimacy that grows as Jesus becomes more the center of your marriage.
One last thought: If you feel like you have tried everything to solve a problem, YOU MUST GET HELP from an outside source. Maybe the most courageous thing you do this year is see a Christian counselor. For help with resources in the Central New Jersey area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mercer County Church Blog Home
This week at 217church, a Mercer County contemporary Christian church, we will learn from Song of Solomon the difficult art of fighting fair with our spouse. Do you fight fair? Learn to fight fair and your marriage will grow in intimacy and strength.