So this week in our marriage small group, we discussed “fighting fair.” I thought I would share a little bit of what we learned. These can be used in many stages of relationships as well, not just marriage.
Fighting is going to happen in any relationship, so we may as well be prepared to face the challenge instead of going in blind.
Healthy couples fight for resolution. Unhealthy couples fight for victory.
Here are three rules that are good to follow that were mentioned in the video we watched, along with some personal input:
1. Stop, listen carefully. We need to be quick to listen. One way to make sure we are listening that was suggested is to repeat back what our spouse said. I know a lot of the times during an argument, I am thinking of what I’m going to say next instead of listening to Jon and trying to understand where he is coming from. This also helps keeps it focused on issue at hand instead of escalating into other issues. When we focus more on the issue and trying to resolve it earnestly, we don’t let other issues bombard us.
This brings up another point: Don’t bring up the past. This only hurts the relationship and creates a more heated argument. It doesn’t solve the issue and you are just playing to ‘win.’
Which is more important: Victory or Happiness?
2.Guard your words faithfully. We need to be slow to speak. Watch your tongue and think before you speak. Once you say those words, you can’t take them back. Ask yourself two questions: Should it be said? & Should it be said now? Some things aren’t worth saying. Pick your battles and figure out what is important to you.
Working on your marriage during non-conflict times was recommended during the video as well. Talk it out. On occation when I’m feeling bold and open to criticism, I will ask Jon what some things are that he needs from me, or that I can do better. This helps me to be a better wife and meet his needs, but mind you, I have to be in the right mood to accept certain criticisms…
The video suggested that you should discuss with your partner 3 things they/you did that day to bless one another and 3 things they/you could do that would be a bigger blessing.
3. Handle our anger righteously. There are some things that you just have to let go. They aren’t worth the fight and getting angry about.
Another suggestion was to never go to bed angry. The video stated that if you go to bed angry at each other, the situation may not get resolved and will fester and grow in your relationship.
As we discussed this, we agreed that in a literal sense, it does work. Jon and I almost always solve our issues and work it out before going to bed, even if it means staying up until midnight! (we’ve done that a couple times) But that is what works for us. Another couple took it more figuratively, stating that the less sleep they have, usually the worse the fighting was, so sleep was a must for them. They would them set a time to return to the issue to make sure it got resolved. A third option was also mentioned in our group, saying they were still upset with the issue at hand, but had forgiveness in their hearts for each other and would revisit the situation the next day as well.
One thing that is very important that Jon and I did as our relationship became more serious was agreeing on rules in our relationship: We don’t leave the house if we are angry, we never threaten divorce (this was mentioned in the video as well as in mine and Jon’s marital counseling), and no yelling. Others that were mentioned were: never call names, never get historical, and never say never or always.
I’m am so thankful for Jon and being able to continually grow my relationship with him through Him. We are working on becoming two that seek One.
Two seeking One,
P.S. If you guys are interested, the videos are a little over half a hour long, but here is the link to watch them: