There was a time in our marriage when we both just knew we were heading toward divorce. Our fights had gotten so bad that we would say hurtful things to each other. We didn’t mean some of the things we would say but just to get a reaction or make each other feel the hurt we were experiencing. One thing that is for sure among couples is that there will be conflict. Disagreements can be just about anything.
How about these? You spend too much money. You are too cheap. You are selfish. You are messy. You are too picky. You never cook. You don’t like my parents. Your parenting is weak. Your parenting is too harsh. You don’t care about me. You don’t spend enough time with me. Yeah, you get it, the list can go on and on. You name it! You know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you just had a flashback. LOL!!
When you have two people with their own personalities and ideas there is bound to be conflict. One thing about having arguments or disagreements with your mate is you HAVE TO FIGHT FAIR. The main thing to remember during arguments or disagreements is that you are on the SAME TEAM. Learning to TALK through conflict and provide constructive conversation makes the world of difference. For example, instead of saying you always spend money carelessly and don’t care about the budget. Insted you can say, when you spend money on extra things it makes me a little nervous and stressed. Do you hear the difference?
Talking through conflict allows each person to be heard. George Kenworthy author of Before the Last Resort a book I highly recommend for couples says that there are three types of people: The shouters, The pouters, and the outers. Which one are you?
The shouters are loud and they shout, self-explanatory, right?
The pouters use the silent treatment and internalize their anger.
The outers have learned how to fight fair.
Just like with any sport or game there are rules to WIN. Why not apply rules to your marriage to WIN?
George gives us 6 rules to have a fair fight.
- Remember you are on the same team
- Make sure your weapons aren’t deadly
- Discuss disagreements when you both agree the timing is right
- The goal of the fight is to edify (instruct or improve)
- Work out your conflict with your mate and NO ONE else ( i.e. friends, parents, etc.)
- Listen to the spirit of God when you are nudged to seek forgiveness and oneness.
To dig deeper into the rules and for a little more detail purchase the book, link below.
The goal of disagreements and conflict is to come out with a stronger relationship, deeper commitment and love for each other, and a sense of togetherness. I know I know we feel like we have to be right all the time but that isn’t the goal of disagreements. No one wins if your mate walks away feeling unloved, confused, or with hurt feelings.
Remember when you are on the same team you have common goals to WIN. In order to win you have to realize it is not just about you. It is about US. The rules established by George Kenworthy have helped my marriage TREMENDOUSLY.
He suggested you write them down and pull them out when needed as a reminder. It doesn’t happen overnight it takes practice. Just like a team must practice learning how to play together to WIN. You and your mate must practice these rules to WIN in your relationship. It is not about perfection it’s about progress.
Source: To purchase George Kenworthy’s book Before the Last Resort on Amazon click here.
Elvery Nate' Tinsley