A dear friend of mine asked me the other day, “Do you and your husband fight?”

I didn’t want to tell her yes and let her think that yes, we fight, indicating a lot, and I didn’t want to tell her no and imply that we never did; our perfect marriage.  So, I told her, “yes, sometimes we do but we try not to.”

And that is the truth.  A lot of marriages go through their ups and downs but what I’ve learned over the years is that you have to pick and choose your battles.  She asked me what it is that I did for what seemingly looked like a perfect marriage.  This is not advice I’m giving, just a thought.  So this is what I told her:

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage.  No one goes into a marriage thinking that everything will flow like honey, easy and effortless (at least I hope not!).  I went into mine knowing that my husband had a strong character, stubborn even, but so did I.  We got married later in life, in our late 30’s, our first, so this was probably a given.  We were both set in our ways and just like younger, idealistic newlyweds (just the ones I know), we had to learn a whole new set of rules.  The biggest thing with me was having to learn how to live with each other.  Everything else lined up after that.  Dating is quite different from marriage.  Money, family, children, careers, etc x 2.  Life does change and you have to expect that.  I am a big believer that you have to want to be married in order to be married.  There are no shortcuts.

You will have arguments!  This is a fact of marriage.  You will find yourself eventually arguing about everything at one point or another.  There is no way around that.  The trick is not to fight about the same thing again.  So how did I do that?  Well, because I didn’t know how to handle things from experience it was trial and error.  If we had an argument about calling him at work, for example, (too many times according to him, just trying to keep in touch with him for me) I had to listen to his side and see where he was coming from so that I could understand why he didn’t like it.  This took me awhile to get it because first, he didn’t communicate it to me but just complained about it and second, I had to eventually figure it out for myself and figure out what was fair for me.  Really listening, is the point.  One very important thing I also figured out after a few tries is that arguing is never pretty so fight fair and never fight dirty or hit below the belt, even if he does.  There is nothing worse than making someone feel as low as you can take them because later, you will feel worse when things are ok.  Believe me, it happens.

You have to learn or know when it is worth it to keep the argument going.  This was hard for me because so many times I wanted to put my foot down because darn it, I was right!  For example, because I’d never had kids before, it was instinctive for me to protect my children as much as possible, to shield them, to keep them safe.  A mother is like that.  To me they were too small (4) to be riding around in a quad, even if it was a toy, without a restraint of some kind or a helmet.  All I saw was a tiny baby and all he saw was that he already had acquired his driver’s license when he was his age, or three, I forget which.  Resolve your issue as soon as you can.  It took me an additional year before I relented with utmost supervision!

Make up right away.  In my neck of the woods I’ve discovered that for whatever reason, a man has a hard time saying that he is sorry.  I personally know a handful of men (family and friends) who are stubborn and won’t give.  Be the bigger person and say you’re sorry, even if it wasn’t completely your fault but don’t be a doormat either.  Again, trial and error, but I’ve gotten to the point that after an argument, we can be ok the next day.

Compromise.  This is a big thing but also hard to do.  Compromising with everything that has led to an argument is the best way to resolve issues.  I’ve never seen the value of giving in or taking completely, that is, I get my way or he gets his.  Working things out and figuring out what works for both of us is something we figured out between us and instead of tears, there were smiles.  I’m serious, I’m not trying to be corny but if I wanted something and because I was willing to give him something back that would work for him, he usually agreed.  It’s that give and take theory I guess.  If you give, you’ll get back.

Never go to bed mad at each other.  There is nothing worse than going to bed with the burden of fear, anger, guilt, or hate laying there with you on your pillow.  Sleep will eventually come and yes, it does give you much-needed relief from the weight, however, the morning will not bring only bright sunshine, rather, it will add anxiety to your day.  I have had my nights and days like that and that is one of the worst feelings a woman can have:  the anxiety in the pit of your stomach.  Whatever the fight was about comes along with you into your day and makes you into an ugly person.  If you’ve had these days, don’t you notice how tears just easily fall even with the slightest provocation, like even a hello from a co-worker?  Man, that’s ugly.  Try to resolve the issue, compromise, or just work it out, if at all possible before it even gets this far.

And finally always, ALWAYS, tell your husband that you love him, no matter what.  He will become a better man because of that.  Nothing else will matter, even if it is just for a moment.  And even if it does nothing for him, you will feel better for yourself because you did the right thing.  My sigh of relief!

That’s what I told my friend.  🙂

Till next time!

Calm before the storm

A Stormy Fight!




One Response to Grrrrrrrrr…..

  1. Carlos says:

    B,That is funny. I think patriarchal is the rhsape anyone who met our family would not ascribe to our family. Phrases are given in a religous spirit, in my opinion (And I have been guilty); either to compartmentalize so one does not have to deal with the Biblical precepts, or to control another person or group. Both aspects have been seen in life. Neither have to do with the Lord. If one is a Christian whose God is actually Lord as well, one will sell out to the precepts. The Lord is my Boss, the Bible is my work manual while on Earth. He does speak to me and my husband in addition, but it is never against the written word. Pride rises against God, Vain Glory rises against God, even our own flesh rises against God. This squelches understanding and wisdom.My husband is the leader of our house because the Bible says he is to us a priest. Because he is a wise leader he recognizes his limitations and my gifting. I handle most on the finances, asking for his confirmation only. I run the homeschooling of our daughter, he has never asked to oversee that. I take care of maintenance (except the yard) on our house, including plumbing, construction and electrical. I am a team mom and do not ask if I can go this place or another because he trusts my judgment. I say this for you to see this is all in the Bible. It is a Proverbs 31 woman.Living in accordance with God’s plan for us is no more binding and debilitating than the bird growing feathers on its wings. At birth it is almost featherless and certainly unable to fly. But the transformation into who it is supposed to be is amazing. Just as we see in a bird, so we must see in ourselves. When we allow God, not popular ideas (or past hurts or perceived wrongs) to make us who we need to be, it is freeing, wonderful and allows us to be who we are meant to be.I don’t need to change your mind, nor do you need to change mine. Wherever we are in enmity in our minds with the Lord, He will surely show us through Holy Spirit, if we listen to Him and not our own deceitful hearts.I just didn’t want you to think I am a certain way. Religion cannot define me. I am 100% God’s. He bought me with Christ’s blood, and THAT is what I cling to, not man’s rules, ideas or religion.

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