That Same Stupid Fight: Conflict with your spouse is inevitable for all couples. Whoever got the idea into our heads that “marriage should be easy” probably wasn’t married. Conflict with your spouse happens when values collide. He wishes she would park straight; she wishes he would apply the same logic to getting his socks 17 inches closer to the hamper.
Conflict with your spouse can be unspoken or overt, tangible or intangible, quiet or quite loud. They can involve clashes within ourselves, with others, with the world at large, and even with God Himself. Conflicts can be tricky because the way we go about handling them is heavily influenced by the culture in our family of origin. Whether our “normal” includes glossing over, gossiping, lashing out, storming away, or having a family meeting, our personal experience has dictated “acceptable” responses to conflict.
Escaping: There are the classic “stuffers,” who prefer a false peace. They’re escaping conflict by outright denial, internalizing responses to conflict, perhaps denying.
Attacking: On the other end of the spectrum are “blowers,” who shoot for a false justice. They might attack with words, physical force, or the withdrawal of privileges, like money or sex.
Peacemaking: In the middle of these extremes is the true peace and true justice of godly responses: Talking it out. Finding a mediator. Overlooking an offense. The Bible says “blessed” are peacemakers - not peace-fakers or peace-breakers.
We don’t act as “peacemakers” just because it’s the moral thing to do. It’s because when we enter conflict, we have the opportunity to honor God, honor ourselves, honor our spouse and honor our relationship. It’s about the way we show forgiveness, peace, and justice in our relationships and less about how right we are or want to be. Conflict also allows us to serve others and to grow as it gives us new ways of looking at life.
Does that mean conflict with your spouse could actually improve the relationship?! That’s exactly what I’m saying. Get to the core of the conflict a lot faster when I start with addressing my own heart issues. Which means … Resolving conflict with your spouse in a healthy way starts with taking 100% responsibility for our contribution - even if we think our contribution is only 5% of the problem. Here’s a tip: We always underestimate the impact our shortcomings has on other people.
As you’re able, consider how to embrace humility and confess to the other person (you might be surprised how this gets the ball rolling). Admit specifically what you did, as well as admitting the attitude that was in your heart. And don’t forget to acknowledge the hurt you’ve caused.
I know taking responsibility for our actions is grown folk stuff. Maturity is a must for relationships to last. Blossom and be the change your relationship needs.
(References from https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/staying-married/communication/that-same-stupid-fight-handling-conflict-with-your-spouse/)
Author: Denise Taylor
I’m on a mission to help professional women thrive. Hear me loud & clear... Don’t Settle. You can have it all. I live a blessed life & you can too.