Marriage: Ground Rules for Fighting Fair

19 11 2009

Everyone fights, but most couples don’t get it right. Many people never sit down to establish ground rules as husband and wife for handling disagreements. Here’s six that have helped Kathy and I in our eighteen years of marriage.

1. Choose the Right Place and the Right Time. Set up a time when you both are not tired or hungry. Have some watch the kids. Sit down face to face/eye to eye/knee to knee. Hold hands, pray and ask God to give you wisdom to discuss this peacefully.

2. Focus on the Issue, Not Winning. Learn how to attack the issues without attacking each other. You are both on the same team working together on a solution to the problem.

3. Allow One Person to Speak at a Time. Don’t’ talk over. Don’t talk down. Come ready to listen to their side and ready to figure out next step.

4. Try to Understand Their Underlying Hurt, Fear, Frustration. The underlying emotions in any disagreement are fear, hurt and frustration. Understand yourself. Understand them. Ask questions, listen to what’s beneath the conflict and try to see the pain from their perspective.

5. Confess My Part of the Conflict. Even if you are only 1% wrong and 99% right, apologize and confess your part. “I’m sorry for overreacting.” “I’m sorry for not telling you how I feel.” “I’m sorry for hurting you.” Be the first person to say, “I’m sorry, will you please forgive me…”

6. Commit to Forgive Each Other. Forgiveness is the foundation of every relationship and marriage is a commitment to daily forgiveness. Don’t say, “It’s no big deal”…Say “I forgive you for…” and move forward.

These six steps weren’t easy for us to learn and we don’t always have it all together, but they have helped Kathy and I go from destructive to constructive fights. To be honest, the key for both of us has been our relationship with Christ. I couldn’t have changed by my own strength. It’s been his power, his grace, and his forgiveness in our lives that has given us the fuel to face our shortcomings, change and become more of who God intended us to be.

Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Ephesians. 4:31

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. Hebrews 12:14

“CONFLICT” SERIES continues @ Epic




One response

1 01 2014
Baby Boy In Style

Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope!

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