Fight Right with your Spouse

No matter how happily married, or how many ever-afters they’ve been married, all couples fight.

I can already hear some of your horrified reactions, “OH, NO!  We don’t fight!”

Softball, Easter 312

(These models are highly experienced and well-trained.  Do not try this at home.
No spouses were harmed in the photo op.)

 

I’m not talking about fist fighting.  I’m not talking about yelling. I’m not talking about abusive  behavior.  I’m simply talking about two people with opposite ideas coming to a mutual agreement.

Some don’t want to associate their marital behavior with the above behavior, so use softer, kinder words like disagree or argue.  There are also the  couples who never fully speak their minds to solve an issue so they bicker. Constantly.  Staring at them in disbelief at the grocery store is like watching a tennis match played on a three feet long court.  You’re gunna’ get whiplash.

But a couple that claims “we never fight”  is using poetic license to cover the fact that they, like every other couple, have moments  where they hold extremely opposite views and need resolution. They reserve the right to call it what they want.

My husband and I don’t fight….just checking to see if you’re listening….about big issues.  We were drawn together by like spiritual beliefs and life goals and just celebrated our 27th anniversary. But an issue of any size can affect your happily-ever-after if you let it.

I often jest with my husband, “If you would just apologize as soon as I get angry, we would never fight.”

Since we do fight, we’ve come up with ways to keep it fair and clean. Our goal is always to strengthen our marriage, not to weaken it with unresolved issues.

 

RULES   FOR   FIGHTING

 

1. If you can’t kiss goodnight because you don’t want to, the night isn’t over. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. It’s better to lose a little sleep than to start a new day with an old problem. 

2. Have the same goal in fighting.The goal isn’t for an individual to win, because you are on the same side. You are not fighting against each other, you are fighting for your marriage. Your goal is to make the marriage a place of contentment, acceptance, unity, love and respect

3. Pray about the issue three times before you bring it before your spouse. “Three strikes ‘yer out” isn’t just for baseball. The more you pray, the less likely the offense will remain an issue. It might be prayed out of the ballpark as your heart changes.

4.  Nobody is perfect, so  allow imperfections.  I’ve been driving for over 30 years, but still forget to check my gas gauge.  My husband admits to practicing “selective listening”  on a regular basis.  He reminds me to put gas in the tank, I remind him to listen. Then he reminds me to use my telephone voice when I remind him to listen/

5. If your children aren’t allowed to behave in a certain way, neither are you. No name calling or making fun of the other person. If you do, give yourself a time-out. If that doesn’t work, ground yourself from the Internet until you can be nice.

6. Fight the  present battle by sticking to the topic.  Don’t bring up past battles.

7. Error on good intent.  You can’t judge motive, so let the other person supply their own motive. This is the person you love, assume the best.

8. Know your battle plan. Squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle doesn’t constitute a fight. Neither does throwing a bath towel on the floor. Irritation with minor things might indicate a larger issue you’ve been unwilling to address. Use respectful conversation and honest questions to get past the minor skirmishes and into the real fray.

9. Don’t show battle scars to others unless by mutual consent and for a good purpose. You might want to write a blog someday about how to fight, then you agree about what you want to reveal. Telling too much too soon can damage your marriage. Sharing battle strategy might help strengthen other marriages.

10.  Finish the fight with forgiveness.

Each must say:
“I’m sorry for _______________, will you please forgive me?”
      “Yes, I forgive you for _________________________.”

An inability to apologize or  to forgive indicates the fight is not over.

 

 

Dean, misc 161

The kiss challenge from #1 is another test.  If you failed both tests, keep fighting discussing. Remember to use your telephone voices and the behavior you expect from your children.

Since we all fight, we gotta’ fight right.

Making your home sing Mondays

WholeHeartedButton

 

 

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15 Responses to Fight Right with your Spouse

  1. sinecostan April 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Married: 14 years. Neither one of us thought we’d ever get married. We were both way old enough to know better. But we got married anyway. Praise the Lord. The first year was, er, challenging. We worked opposite shifts and didn’t see each other much. Had one really stupid fight that I can recall. After that decided it wasn’t worth it and didn’t do that again. We are of different faiths, but we both have God in our lives and that is what matters. We are so blessed to agree on most things. We have agreed to disagree on the other few things. The differences are minor, so who cares? As I say, we are blessed. Truly blessed.

    • Mindy April 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story! I always love hearing what others do to keep their marriage strong and healthy. I loved the “agreed to disagree.” Great advice.

  2. Dana Kolste April 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    I like #7 – remembering the good things about my spouse puts the annoying “little things” in perspective….and sometimes the things I think are “big things” too.

    • Mindy April 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      Well, Dana, those are Scott’s words. Words he shares often. 🙂 It was fun to see that this list has derived because of each of our weaknesses and the other spouse learning to help them through it.

  3. Tandis April 2, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    “Remember to use your telephone voices and the behavior you expect from your children.”
    Wise words, thank you! I wonder how often I expect more of my 6 & 7 year old’s behavior than I do from myself? Oops. =/

    And….. poor Scott. That punch looked like it nearly broke his nose.
    The kiss one is hilarious! You didn’t have to ask him twice for that kiss. LOL!

    • Mindy April 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      I was trying to get a pic of us with our dukes up, but apparently, even though I used to be quite the playground scrapper, I don’t know how to make a fist. The pics didn’t look right. So, he told me to pretend to punch him, Beka got the shot, and the rest is history.

  4. Laurie Brainard Winzer April 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    To me “fighting” is equal to yelling at each other which James and I never do — not that I never tried when we were first married. Rarely do we disagree but on those occasions when we do, we simply take our separate corners, pray about it then come back to discuss (in telephone) voices. Sometimes all it takes is for one of us to realize that we did not understand what the other was saying, sometimes we compromise, and sometimes one of us has to capitulate, but we always resolve — never leave something unattended because it will rot!! Communication is the key!!
    Thanks Mindy for such a wonderful post!!

    • Mindy April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      You used a big word, little sister! CAPITULATE. Does that mean punching? 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story. I know you guys are still crazy in love and still crazy after all these years and it is such great. Never have to worry about you!

  5. adelineoh April 3, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Great things to note down for me and my hubby. We do practice a lot of it but there’s always room to learn and improve. Thanks!

    • Mindy April 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      We were just talking the other day how a marriage has to keep growing and changing because our life changes. Moving, ministry, jobs, family, all these circumstances change us, therefore our marriage needs to change and grow in the new parameters. Love hearing another marriage success story because of the Lord. May you continually grow more in love with each other as you grow more in love with the Lord Jesus.

      • adelineoh April 4, 2013 at 4:52 am #

        That is so true, a marriage has to grow and change; if it stagnates, that’s not good. That’s an excellent perspective, I think we live life as we go through it, but we don’t think of our marriage relationship changing, expanding and growing within its parameters. Love it! Thanks.

  6. Nan April 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I love your husband’s eyes in the kiss picture, lol! Great post! When we first got married we had some late nights, lol! And you’re right, we have to allow for some imperfections, on both sides. Thanks so much for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday” today! 🙂

  7. Nan April 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    It was 2:52 pm when I posted this and yet the time says 9:51 pm. Weird. Since I know where you live I know that it’s not running on our state time, lol!

  8. Judith at WholeHearted Home April 4, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    I love this and hafta Pin it!! I’d love this on my LINKUP Party because such a good post needs to be shared!! I just loved your pics and especially the thoughts under the pics, LOL!!

    • Mindy April 5, 2013 at 3:01 am #

      Hey, thanks for the reminder! How do I forget this when I do this every week? Love your LINKUP! Thanks for hosting.

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