How to Fight in the Marriage Ring
In a marriage there will be bickering, disagreements, arguing, or whatever name you use. Whether you go 1 round or all 10 it’s important that when you enter the ring of a fight, you do so with effective strategy.
Healthy fighting takes skills. After 40 years of marriage I have tried just about everything. Here’s some that have kept us both from getting knocked out in the ring.
What’s the goal?
When a disagreement starts you might not be quite poop how it happened. Its a good time to stop and think “What am I trying to achieve here?” Do you want to go somewhere different on vacation. Want him to change some way? Buy a new something? Or maybe you just want your own way. In the back of your mind you have to know what you want to get out of this.
Is it just emotions about something else?
You know this one. You’re frustrated about how your pants fit so when he asks where you want to have dinner you snap. Or you are feeling tired unappreciated so you are short with every question he has. Or it’s your cycle and you really have no idea why your emotions are out of wack?
Emotions are good and they can tell us things. Make sure you are listening to the real reason they’re flaring up.
If it isn’t emotional and you really do have a disagreement here’s some healthy steps that will get you to a resolution fast.
1. NO Kitchen Sink Fighting
Stay on point. When in the conflict stay on the issue. Don’t bring other conflicts and throw them into the ring. If one of you do throw a punch from out of no where agree that you will talk about that later but right now agree to stay on the topic.
2. Put Yourself Into Time-out
Head to your corners if it gets to heated or you can’t stay on topic. Take breaks when you need to. Remember this is the person you love and they might have some truth to learn so listen.
3. Repeat After Me
When your spouse says something listen. Don’t be waiting to throw your next bunch of word punches. Before you give your answer repeat back what you heard them say. Use words like:
“What I heard you say was that you relax better at the beach, is that right?” When they feel they have been heard then you can respond.
4. Describe Your Feelings
Sometimes we can think that showing our feelings makes us vulnerable to a knock out. But in healthy arguing it is essential to share your feeling while you are sharing your opinions. Words like: “I feel like that because I don’t work outside the home you think your need for a vacation is more important than mine. I feel unappreciated and not heard.”
5. Don’t Draw Blood
If it starts to get ugly and you are wounding each other. STOP Immediately. Words like: “I’m done!” “I’m leaving you for real this time”, “I hate you”, or name calling are a huge STOP SIGN!
These kinds of words show you are in protection mode and you need a break. Agree to take a break to cool off and agree when to resume. Then head to step #2. And start over.
Going to Bed Angry
The word of God says in Ephesians 4: 27
“Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry
and do not give the devil a foot hold”
But honestly some of me and my man’s arguments took so long to resolve we wouldn’t have slept for weeks. I like to have things cleared up before we go to bed and that is our first choice. But if we just can’t come to a decision or solution then we resolve the anger.
Fortunately verse 26 of Ephesians 4 helps us understand better.
“In your anger do not sin.”
This provides some parameters. Resolve the anger before you go to bed. Agree to disagree and talk about it later.
The biggest thing to remember is that this is not an opponent that you need to take out. You are two people that get to life together. So when you have to get into the right and duke it out I hope you will use these hard fought tools so you both are winners.
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