Getting into the ring
Today’s guest post is from www.cuppa.wordpress.com
We have all been there I am sure. Fighting. Despite your best intentions or highest commitment to maintain a healthy happy relationship, it inevitably happens that we end up disagreeing with our other half. Why? I suspect because we were created as unique individuals who each bring their own history, experiences and expectations to the marriage relationship.
I used to leave our arguments feeling blue. I hated knowing that we wasted valuable time by disagreeing but I reckon I failed to see the bigger picture. Yes, arguments are a waste of time when:
- It is all about me and getting my way
- Proving a point
But there is hope. Fighting and arguments can really be a valuable opportunity for each of us to:
- Learn more about our partners
- See our husband’s leadership in action and to show respect for it
- Resolving our concerns in a way that leaves both of us feeling more connected because of our shared victory.
“The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.” Martha Washington
My heart is for happy, healthy marriages that honour God while creating an environment for both spouses to become ALL that God has called them to be. Having said that, I honestly don’t see how we can hope to go through life and into marriage without ever experiencing friction or conflict. I do believe that the difference for us (women called to be wives and mothers of character) lies in the how…
A formula that works for us is to FIGHT.
- Face each other and make eye contact. Address your issues and each other directly with courtesy and respect. I have found that it is much easier to run my mouth or speak without thinking when the ceiling is my only witness or when I find myself speaking to the bedside table. Looking at my SAMM reminds me both of the reward (our relationship) and the person (his feelings, thoughts and perspectives) during the conversation.
- Ignore distractions. No phones, TV or children. If there are “distractions” around (feeding the children etc) it may not be the best time to have the conversation. Agree to discuss at a later stage and agree on a specific time (“Let’s talk about this after I put the SuperStar in bed”) I realise that not all disagreements are as easily postponed BUT it is a worthy challenge to accept.
- Guard your tongue. Don’t resort to unkind, unflattering words in the heat of the battle. Once said it is impossible to take back so be very sure about what you want to say. Name-calling isn’t acceptable and neither is labeling or stereotyping. I am a quick thinker with a feisty personality and a heavy tongue so I understand if you think that this is a unachievable benchmark. I have also said things that should have been left unsaid and I have seen the hurt that words create. When you are tempted to name-call ask yourself “why”? I have found that when it is time to accept responsibility, it is easier for me to ‘deflect’ than to accept. Knowing what triggers your responses will help you to avoid the traps in future.
- Halt the history.Avoid the “you always…” or “You never” statements. Look at what (SPECIFICALLY) you are disagreeing about and focus on discussing that one thing. Don’t allow the rabbit-holes to tempt you. Accept your part in the argument, take responsibility for your actions and own up when necessary. It is never easy but the alternative creates a messy, selfish marriage built on destructive arguments and unkind words.
- Touch. I know… you think I am mad and delusional. Who wants to touch when you are fighting?? That is exactly the point. Reach out and break through the barriers of resistance and anger. It is far easier to remain in the moment without losing yourself or the objective when you are anchored by your partner.
- Stay in it to win it!Don’t give up or bail out. stick with it. Neither of you will have real peace until your issue has been resolved.
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Eph 4:26 NIV
My final say…
“Do everything in love.” 1 Cor 16:14 NIV
Yes. Fight with love. That means we should STOP looking at how WE are wronged or how WE should be accommodated. Love looks at the needs of the other person. Love looks at how to accommodate the other party. Love speaks with respect, it uses kind words even when it offers an honest perspective and love offers forgiveness. Love will help us to see opportunities to recognise our husband’s leadership and wisdom.
Love will help us to remove our selfish needs from the conversation as we build a strong, healthy, beautiful relationship that honours God.
Thanks for sharing my Cuppa.FIGHTS formula from Laurie Kehler, notes and explanations by yours truly.