It might sound funny to say that learning how to fight with your husband can help keep the spark alive in your marriage, but I think it’s true. If you don’t address conflict (and let’s be honest, there’s bound to be conflict) your marriage can’t grow.
This is hard lesson for me. See, I’m the girl who avoids conflict at any cost. I’d rather bury my frustration and put a smile on my face, pretending everything is fine than address the issue. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it’s the truth.
I can’t remember what my and Adam’s first big fight was during our marriage (more than likely over something ridiculous like him putting away the dishes in the wrong place or not calling me to tell me he was working late), but I can tell you how the argument played out.
I lash out at Adam, seemingly out of the blue, saying something like “why don’t you ever put the dishes back where they belong?”
He responds by saying “what are you talking about?” He obviously didn’t realize this frustration had been building up for days and was taken off guard.
I proceed to make a big deal out of something little, finally getting so frustrated at our poor communication that I shut down entirely and leave the room.
Adam follows me, not letting me shut down and ignore the problem like I want. At first, I resist. Remember, I’d much rather avoid a messy argument than resolve the issue. Eventually I tell him why I’m frustrated and we return to wedded bliss. Cue the happy chorus!
I still don’t seek out conflict, but thankfully, after 6 years of marriage, we’ve gotten better at fighting!
I read a great article in Relevant Magazine awhile back about how to fight in a relationship. I won’t repeat everything it says (I highly recommend reading it) but I do want to highlight a few key points: and add a few of my own
- Avoid universal language like “you always leave the light on” or “you never put the dishes away”
- Don’t resort to name-calling or personal attacks. No matter how frustrated you are, it doesn’t help to point out faults in the other person. This is when arguments spiral out of control and you can easily end up saying things you regret but can’t un-say.
- In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say things you don’t mean. If you find yourself heating up, do yourself (and your spouse) a favor and count to 10 or walk away.
- Don’t compare your spouse to one of their parents. Specifically “you’re just like your mom/dad when you say or do that” No one wants to hear that!
Whatever your “rules of engagement”, learning how to fight well is key to wedded bliss.
Want to read more about rekindling the flame, and remembering the way we felt when we said ‘I do’? Check out the full 31 Day series here and we invite you to read our own little love stories here or here!