I think it is unrealistic to assume you will never get into an argument with your spouse, or that you will never disagree over something important. Arguing is healthy if it is done right. It is important to discuss issues and it is okay to disagree with each other, but it is all in how you handle the argument. Fighting fair is essential in keeping your marriage together. Here are some rules to go by for fighting fairly with your spouse.
1. Focus on the present problem.
This is harder than it seems sometimes. When you are arguing with your spouse it is so important to focus on the present. Bringing up past mistakes will not benefit anyone. It will only escalate the problem. Also, bringing up the past means you are still dwelling in it. When you have hashed out your problem you should forgive one another and not use it as a weapon in your next argument.
2. Don’t use destructive or critical words.
Our words are meant to build one another up, not tear each other down. When you are arguing it is important not to use an accusatory tone or to demean your husband or wife. When you argue it should not be an attack on your spouse’s character. An argument should never become verbally abusive, or physically. I am sure that everyone knows it is never acceptable to bring physical harm to your spouse. If you are in that sort of a situation, seek help immediately!
Also, on a side note, do not give your spouse the silent treatment. This is one of the most juvenile things ever. It does not show maturity on your part to refuse to speak to your spouse. Be willing to talk and get your feelings out there…
3. Be willing to take responsibility.
If you have done something hurtful to your spouse, own up to it! There is nothing more irritating than having your feelings discounted or written off. Imagine that you are in their shoes. How would you want them to handle the situation if your roles were reversed? It is a good idea to consider your spouse and how they may be feeling. Focusing just on yourself is selfish and does not show a sacrificial love for your husband or wife. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes shows empathy and your marriage will benefit from it greatly.
Listen to what your spouse has to say and take it to heart. They are not telling you just to hear themselves talk. They are striving to better the relationship by solving the problems that have created tension within your marriage. If you are not going to listen to what they have to say and strive to change, your marriage is not going to be a happy one.
5. No distractions.
When you talk things out there should be no distractions. You should focus on one another and give your full attention. Your marriage should be the second most important thing in your life (God comes first), and you should be doing everything within your power to make amends when something goes amiss. If you are texting, or watching television instead of actively working to solve your issues, then nothing good is being done.
6. Fight Naked
Haha just kidding! This was some marital advice from my cousin at my bridal shower. :) Apparently it is hard to stay angry when you are naked.
There is so so much more I could add to this list about fighting fair, but I think you can figure out the rest on your own. This should give you a good start.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”
1 Corinthians 7:3-5
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
“Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.”
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Please bless the marriage of anyone who reads this blog. Help them to build the
foundation of their lives, of their marriage on You. Give them love for one another
and joy that runs over. Thank you for the divine institution of marriage
and for giving us a glimpse of the heavenly relationship between Christ and
the church. Help each of us to recognize that we are sinners and nothing in our
lives, including our marriages will succeed without Your guiding hand.
In Your Precious Name,
Blessings In Christ,