You name it and we’ve fought about it. Finances, house chores, children, pets, he said, she said, and everything else in between. I honestly believe that any married couple that says they don’t fight is either still on their honeymoon or just never sees one another. In the course of any day there is bound to be something that could come between us. I’ve concluded that the only thing that has changed after sixteen years of marriage is we’ve learned how to fight better than we did in the early years. Here are some things I’ve learned help you with your marriage battles.
#1 Learn how to SHUT UP. I used to think that if I had the final word then I won the battle. Actually this just leads to a bigger hole, more careless words, and resolves absolutely nothing. One of the best things to do when you find yourself in a major power struggle is to SHUT UP. The book of James tells us “Everyone should be slow to speak and quick to listen.”
#2: Learn how to IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. Often times the real issue is not what you’re discussing at the moment. But, the argument stems from other stress, misunderstandings, or resentment built up over time. Seeking to understand why the other person may be offended or upset is a big step towards resolving the conflict. Many times our break down of conversation is due to a lack of heart connection. Listen with your heart, not your ears.
#3: Learn how to SAY I’M SORRY. Nothing accomplishes more than a sincere apology. Trying to prove your point at all costs will prove very costly. Don’t worry about what they’ve done, but own up to what you’ve done. Two wrongs don’t make a right and you can’t move forward if you both stay on strike. Don’t let your pride bring unnecessary grief to your marriage. Say I’m sorry when it needs to be said.
#4: Learn how to FORGIVE QUICKLY. One thing I know for sure is marriages don’t fall apart over night. It is usually after unresolved issues have accumulated over time that the divorce papers follow. Deal with things quickly and learn how to truly forgive one another. Don’t keep a record of wrongs. Don’t let yesterday’s issues build up like dirty laundry until you’re both miserable.
#5: Learn how to PUT LIFE ASIDE. Remember when you were dating and life seemed so much easier. For many that’s because there were fewer bills, no kids, and you were just glad to be together. We all have to make time to spend with one another. Somehow, someway we have to relax, put the stress aside and just be thankful God gave us one another.
May God teach us all how to work through our differences, deal with our misunderstandings and look past one another’s many faults. With God’s help there is nothing we can’t weather together.