My husband and I love each other very much, but if I am honest, we fight a lot. Every time we are in an important discussion and disagree. It quickly turns into yelling and saying things that we both really don’t mean. We are very passionate in our love but also in our fighting. I am concerned that this pattern is just going to get worse, and our fights will become harder and harder to forgive. Help!
Concerned for the Future
Dear Concerned for the Future,
A lot of couples have this problem. Fighting is not always a reflection of the amount of love a couple has for one another; it is often a reflection of poor communication and bad conflict resolution. Most marriages with this problem share equal blame with their spouse. Tensions may become heated because one person is fuming, but then the other fans the flame. Combating this issue needs to be a joint effort.
At a time when things are not heated, or with the mediation of a counselor, sit down and discuss past arguments with your spouse. From start to finish, analyze how the fight started, how it escalated and how the fight cooled down. Be careful not to rehash the old fight, but extend grace to one another while discussing, “this is how you made me feel when you said _____________ so that is why I said _____________.” Tell your spouse when certain body language gestures get to you. Does your husband turn to walk out of the room? Do you roll your eyes disrespectfully? These aspects greatly have an effect on the levels of frustration during the conversations. Also, how does the fight end? Do you sweep the issue under the rug so that it comes up next fight or do you commit to working it out, arriving at an agreement or compromise and forgiving one another?
When you have received some insight into the past bad conflicts, repent to your spouse and ask for forgiveness. You and your spouse both need to be committed to breaking the bad habits, and they are bad habits, so realize your spouse will most likely not change over night. The beautiful thing about marriage is that God ordained it as an institution for which to help us grow in grace and thus grow in Him. Grace does not operate selfishly, so it is not consumed with only the other person’s wrongs. Grace acknowledges and apologizes, regardless of the other person’s apology. You both need to commit yourselves to livingly gracefully and kindly towards one another. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4:32. The bad habits are breakable with the help of God! You can change the future of your marriage!
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