Marriage Tuesday

conflict in marriage is a big deal.   unresolved conflict will end up destroying a marriage.   eventually,  it will break down trust and erode the foundation.

there are some marriages that experience more conflict than others.   i think it has less to do with the actual points of conflict,  than it does the make-up and life experience of the conflicters.   i think i just made up a word…

wanda and i haven’t had a great deal of conflict over the course of our 36 years…plus five years of dating.   i’ve done enough stupid stuff to warrant conflict,  but wanda’s character and personality limits the conflict.   also, somewhere in my experience or emotional framework,  i ended up with a lot of patience.

the end product?   neither one of us is a fighter.   both of us are talkers.   we treasure peace.

but not everybody is like us.   in fact,  most people aren’t.   the majority of people i have known are more inclined to show anger and frustration…both personally and in their closest relationships.   and most marriages need help when it comes to conflict.

i read an article this week entitled,  fight fair!  six simple conflict resolution skills for your marriage. it’s definitely worth reading,  but here’s the condensed version:

face each other – turn off the TV…go behind closed doors…look each other in the eyes…and give yourself wholeheartedly to the conflict.   your partner deserves everything you’ve got to give.

ignore distractions – keep the issue on the topic at hand.   avoid raising side issues.   don’t complicate things.

guard your tongue – no name calling.   no hitting below the belt.   nothing hurtful.   no personal attacks.

hold the history – don’t bring up the past.   its gone.   hopefully it’s already been forgiven.

touch – sit close.   hold hands.

stay in there – finish the fight.   don’t go to bed angry.   force closure.

good suggestions.   do you have more?   have you learned in skills in your years of marriage?

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13 thoughts on “Marriage Tuesday

  1. Just because you won your side of the argument doesn’t make you a better Human than your spouse. You dont get any special points at the end of your life for arguments won. I think the worst 4 words ever is “I told you so”
    Keeping those words out of your post arguments is a skill to be had.

  2. Blended family marriages seem to add their own unique source of conflict. Especially when one of the spouse’s exes are “crazy”. or you look at your own children through rose colored glasses.

    But silent treatment is especially bad in a marriage, when one of the parties is trying to apologize or resolve the issue and the other is not speaking at all does not help.

    All of the above stated are very good. and yes Brandon “I told you so” is not a great marriage builder.

    I too tend to avoid conflict and let a LOT of stuff roll off of me. But…. I do try to fight fair.

  3. Sherri,

    I remember the absolute wars that my Dad had with his ex-wife. Phones slamming, Him screaming into the phone “Where are my kids!” Not knowing exactly what state they were even in. And, yes it carried over into my parent’s relationship. How could it not. There were so many times it LOOKED like my dad was using my mom as a verbal punching bag. I remember those days all too well. The fight to have a relationship with his kids took an absolute toll on my younger brothers and my mom.

    You may ask where I stood. Well, I had MY Daddy’s house to go to every 2 weeks. I had another world outside of my world. That’s the best way I can explain it. It did not go without hurt. Anytime my Mom had an issue with my Daddy, I felt like my mom would take it out on me because she was getting it taking out on her from my Dad.

    The thing I have to remember the most is that I remember exactly how my parents argued and the toll it took on me as a kid. It’s burned into my mind. I have to always remember my kids have the same eyes and ears I had.

    I have to acknowledge that as I was growing up, my parents were growing up as well.

    It’s good the Parker’s learned and the Defriend’s are learning to love and respect each other even to this day. Amen.

  4. I tend to say that alot… “I told you so”. I am not proud of it, but it is so hard not to say (especially when you are right and your partner didn’t take your advice). And, for those of you that know us, I am not using this blog to further an argument… (Luv you Bday)

    Brandon and I are an unusual couple. We don’t look like we fit together, infact, we are polar opposites on almost Every Subject. We do argue.. quite abit actually, but it is always about stupid things (like last nights argument about what plantar faciatis is and what part of the foot it pertains to)

    Regardless of what your argument is, I agree with Mike Wholeheartledly… Finish the Fight. Don’t let your Partner or yourself shut down and quit. That benefits no one.

  5. I’m always amazed at people’s desire to get the last word in. As if you can somehow win the argument. What do you win?

    So it makes you feel good that you said something that hurt a person you care about?

    Maybe you should question whether you really care about the person instead of worrying about if you were “right”. NONE of us are right! We are all just a huge collective group of screw ups. So don’t think you have some right to tout being right unless you are ready to have someone point out all the times you are wrong and have fallen short. I don’t want to view under that microscope.

    I can get the last word in on just about any relationship or friendship I have in my life. I have something meaner and nastier to say than just about anything they can come up with. It’s just the reality of it. It comes from a life of being surrounded by smarta@@ people. But that isn’t how you go about being right to a person you care about. The way you go about being right is holding the tongue of your foolish mouth. Because most of the time we don’t know what the hell we are talking about either.

    Shut up and love people.

  6. Fortunately, Larry keeps most of those screaming conversations with her mother away from Hannah. They have declined QUITE a bit since she has figured out she can’t use Hannah as a pawn in their relationship any more.. and she’s distracted with ruining another marriage. I’m sorry Mike, but the woman is insane… Getting the last word in.. not a thing I have to do. I told you so is not usually said in our house. Larry gets to so seldom use it that if he says it, I don’t really CARE.. hahahah 🙂

    I don’t remember my parents fighting, but I know they did, finding out a lot more about my parents relationship in the last few years. I do remember enough about our whole family dynamic that I knew that I would NOT make my kids feel inferior or less than perfect and they would be pretty competent in the world. Their father and I actually get along better now as exes than we did when we were married, so I think we didn’t screw them up too much with the divorce. I think I’m off on a tangent. I better quit while I’m behind.

    Rashael, you last word??? noooo way 🙂

  7. Liz and I make the mistake quite often of waiting until we get in bed and are both about to fall asleep to start arguing. It’s something we’ve struggled with for most of our marriage and we often talk about using better timing with our conflict.

    I guess if there’s an 8th rule to add, it should be to get going early so that you both aren’t speaking out of your butts because you’re too tired to think straight.

    Someone once told us that the best way to argue is to do so naked because, i guess, it’s funnier that way. I’m not going to rat out who told me that, but I think they read this blog.

  8. still new here…
    Early on in our marriage Chad saw an infomercial for a Gary Smalley series on ‘Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships” (I think that’s the name) and it was a sanity/life/marriage saver. Of course, we’d only been married 6 months and I was ticked because he bought it BECAUSE of ME-ha!
    It helps to be married to someone on an even keel (that would not be me). 18 years in April… 🙂

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