We’ve all been there before. Your spouse says something that hurts your feelings or just makes you plain mad. We’re not talking about situations of intentional verbal abuse. We’re talking about the all-too-common annoying and inconsiderate comments that slip out.
So, how do you react? Do you get cold? Get quiet? Withdraw? Maybe you’re more prone to raise your voice and duke this thing out verbally. It might even be your personality to just hold it all in until it makes you bitter. We must learn to do better at resolving conflict in marriage if we want our relationships to thrive. Here are 3 things to do instead of escalating the argument.
Resolving conflict in marriage: 3 Things To Do Instead of Escalating The Argument
Really, it’s often these “small” incidents that can start the degradation of our marital relationship. As these interactions chip away at the intimacy and depth of the relationship, we start to experience a cold distance that can be detrimental to the marriage. What can you do starting today to make sure you close that relational gap every time it starts to creep open?
1. Be compassionate.
For some spouses, careless words are a result of seasons of struggle. Recognize when your spouse is struggling and be sympathetic for the feelings or life situations that have put them in this spot. How can you help?
2. Resolve to be the peace-maker.
We all want to have our voices heard. We all want to react and tell them why they made us mad. Seek to understand, love, and redeem the situation.
3. Fight resentment.
This is tough but the more you implement the top two, the easier this one is to master. Resentment is the evil one’s scheme to divide and conquer. Fight it if you start to feel it.
Grace Marriage Mission
The next time you’re tempted to engage in an argument, practice these three things. By the way, this goes both ways in the marriage. When husband and wife are seeking to be compassionate, peace-making spouses on a consistent basis, conflict subsides quickly, and relational contempt does not occur. You can do this.
First Corinthians 13:4-7 > Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Marliyn Rhoads is co-founder of Grace Marriage.