Conflicts happen in relationship, it is just a fact. Two people, two personalities, two sets of opinions, two sets of ‘buttons’ (!!!)… conflict is inevitable. And if you say you never fight, well that isn’t necessarily healthy either. Problems/conflicts arise and need to be dealt with, specifically in the most important relationship; between husband and wife.
It helps to understand your personality style and what makes you tick. Sounds silly, but what is your place in the birth order in your family of origin? Oldest children tend to be independent, A-type personality, directive (read: bossy). Middle children tend to be the easy going, peacekeeper type. Youngest children are often affectionate and charming but self-centered. Only children are mature, calm, but may have trouble relating to others. This is not set in stone! But really, usually most people do tend to take on traits based on their birth order.
My husband and I are both middle children so we both tend to be more easy going and avoid conflict. Fights still happen though, because of course, we are human.
And then; what makes you tick? For most couple- it is finances. For us, it is definitely stress from our kids. It helps immensely to identify the source of strife and get on the same page. Get on a budget with your spouse. Or take time to decompress after a stressful time (like putting the kids to bed!) so you don’t take your stress out on your spouse.
Don’t let anger get the better of you in the heat of the moment. Have certain boundaries that you will not cross, no matter what. Such as- absolutely NO name calling. No bashing. No re-hashing past failures. No “you always or you never” statements. No screaming.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1 That goes for men too. Love builds up, it never tears down. You only lose ground when you throw mud. Attack the problem, not your spouse.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 It doesn’t have to escalate. Keep your tone gentle and respectful. If the other person feels like you are actually listening and valuing what they say, any anger will quickly dissipate. Men need to feel respected, women need to feel loved. If I get ‘snappy’ with my husband and will quickly swallow my pride and apologize. Same if he is harsh towards me. It happens. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. But if you swallow your pride and make things right there is so much reward in that. A marriage built on humility and love is going to be wonderful and fulfilling.
Ideally the objective of a fight is coming to an understanding, an agreement, resolving an issue; then being stronger and more unified than before. A good fight should be constructive. A bad fight is destructive.
And for goodness sakes don’t let it get nasty in front of your kids. They don’t need to see that. It is so incredibly damaging. It is totally fine and even helpful for them to see you acting like mature adults and handling a disagreement calmly and rationally. They learn how to act from watching you.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 Love makes it work and makes life worth living. Love covers, not exposes.
I know this verse is very well known, but it is completely and radically life changing when applied in the context of marriage…. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8