In any marriage conflict is inevitable and normal.First of all, the differences between a man and a woman are reason enough for conflicts to arise.Furthermore, the differences in personalities and the differences in upbringing spell disaster.That is why it is very important for couples to understand and accept that conflict is normal in any marriage and can be helpful.It is like a signal that something is wrong and needs to be addressed, adjusted or corrected.Similar to a fever which is the body’s signal that a bacteria or virus is attacking it, conflict in marriage is also a signal and all we need to do is to manage.Every couple needs to learn how to manage conflict.Establishing ground rules for fighting can minimize the damage conflict brings to individuals in the relationship.
Here are some tips on how to fight fair during inevitable conflicts:
1. Never compare. Do not say, “Why can’t you be more like” or “You’re just like” Remember, God made your spouse unique.
2. Never condemn. Do not use phrases like, “You always… You never or “You should… You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Don’t lay on the guilt or play with your partners conscience. “Only God has the right to judge so do not start statements with “You” because that sounds judgmental. Instead, start your statements with “I need this from you,” “I felt this when you did this.” When your spouse uses these words accept it, it doesn’t mean you agree with it but these words are less threatening and less condemning.
3. Never challenge. Do not threaten. Saying phrases like,“Just try that and see what happens!” The three most common threats in marriage are about sex, money or separation (leaving your spouse).Rule these deadly weapons in your marriage.They are marks of immaturity.
4. Never condescend. Do not treat your partner like they’re more inferior than you.Don’t use belittling statements like, “You shouldn’t feel that way.” Don’t ridicule them for their explanations or logic. That is playing God.
5. Never confuse. Do not bring up issues that are unrelated to the current issue.We often do this to get ahead in the argument and intentionally side track our spouse.Stick with the issue.
These are just five tips on how to fight fair.I know that there are more things I could write here.But the principle behind these tips is this: ATTACK THE ISSUE NOT EACH OTHER.Remember, your spouse is not your opponent.You are in the marriage together.The conflict is there for you to identify what you can do to improve and strengthen your marriage.