Do you resort to extreme or irrational tactics when you’re “fighting” (slamming doors, exaggerated motions, etc)?
Do you need to have the last snarky word?
Do you get historical … when you’re hysterical … bringing up past wounds and offenses?
If you answered yes to any of these questions … you need to learn how to “fight fair.”
Marriage is the union of two fallen humans … so conflict is inevitable! Many of us believe that conflict is bad and unwelcomed. The truth is … couples who know how to resolve conflict well actually strengthen their intimacy. They take the time to listen and learn a little more about what their spouses think and feel.
So, here are 6 steps to help you deal with conflict in a positive way:
Step 1 – Establish “Rules of Engagement.” Set a time and place for your discussion. Allow time to “cool down;” find a time and place so kids won’t be a distraction. Acknowledge there is a problem and agree together on when and where you will talk about it.
Step 2 – Identify the problem and look for a “Win-Win” not a “Me vs. You” solution. If you both win, you build intimacy, if one wins and one loses, intimacy is weakened.
Step 3 – Stick to the issue– don’t fight a multi front war! This leads to more confusion and anger.
Step 4– Use “I” statements to express your feelings instead of “You” statements. Ex. “I was hurt by the comment …” or “I felt disrespected when … .” Not: “You did … “
Step 5 – Forgive and forget – the reality is that both spouses can be harmed in an argument. Humbly ask for and grant forgiveness. Agree not bring the issue up again.
Step 6 – Pray for God to help you navigate through this challenging time; and to ask Him for the power to mirror His forgiveness and unconditional love to the world!
Colossians 3:12-14: So, as those who have been chosen of God, … put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, … just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Knee to Knee Nose to Nose Questions
Which of these 6 steps do you need to put into practice?
How well do you do in fighting about the problem and not attacking your partner?