Someone once told me, “even the best couples fight”. It happens. You have two sinful people living under the same roof. You are bound to upset each other. You are bound to be selfish at times. You are bound to get on each others nerves. It happens, but how you handle fights when they come matters. Do you blow up at each other? Can you not control your anger? Do you say hurtful things you regret? I use to think that as your relationship progressed, you would begin to fight “better” or more “fair”, however, now I really think you go seasons in your marriage. I don’t think it is really cut and dry. However, I do think its a conscience effort by both people to fight “fair”. Here are 10 Sure-Fire Rules For Fighting Fair I have found to help us:
Never leave. Don’t storm out of the room, don’t leave the house. Face the problem or issue in a calm matter. By no means am I saying don’t “cool down” (you will see that below), but don’t leave out of anger or not wanting to deal with the problem.
Don’t Say Always or Never
These two words can fuel a fight like no other. Just don’t. Don’t say “You always do…” or “You never…” – these generalize your fight and tear each other down.
Be sure that you are actively listening to your spouse. It is easy to want to be heard in a fight but take the time to see why your spouse is really upset. Sometimes simply listening can open up so many doors of communication.
Don’t Vent To Your Mom or BFF
Don’t go off and vent to your mom or bff or worse, Facebook. Keep your disagreements between the two of you. This can be very damaging to a relationship. Your parents will always take your side. Your friends will always take your side. This leaves damages to their relationship with your spouse. Avoid this at all costs.
See, I said this was a good thing. If your argument is really intense, you may need time to cool off and think. I know this is big for our marriage. My husband always needs space to process and think things through before we discuss issues. Give your partner space and take some for yourself as well.
Sleep In The Same Bed
A lot of people advise you to “never go to bed angry”. I just don’t really agree. Sometimes, you need to sleep. If it is late and you are arguing, you might be exhausted and more emotional. So many times, a clear mind in the morning has resolved a fight for us. So, my tip is to sleep in the same bed.
Yes, thats right. Its really hard to stay angry when you pray in the middle of an argument. This is so important and huge for me. I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed for clarity or understanding during a fight. I pray for a soft heart, a listening heart and for reconciliation.
Check Your Heart
Speaking of your heart. Check the condition of your heart. It is so important to have a soft heart toward your spouse. We know that through our relationship with Christ, we are already forgiven. He has taken care of our biggest worry and condition, our sin. Once we accept Christ as our savior, he instantly forgives all of our past and future sins, because of His work on the cross. Therefore, he tells us: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) This is a huge statement. I think it is so important to keep a soft heart toward your spouse. Think about this in terms of how Christ treats you. In your mind, have you already forgiven your spouse for a fight you will have next week? Honestly, probably not. We tend to think in the moment of an argument. Focus on being kind to one another and forgiving each other in advance. It is a lot harder to get in arguments or do hurtful things if you are focusing on having a soft heart.
Don’t drink during an argument. That is a recipe for bad news. If you have already been drinking… see tip about sleeping in the same bed and discussing the next day. The end.
One of the most important things in fighting fair is to make sure you get to the root of the issue and seek resolution. You don’t want to be in the same fight tomorrow or the next day.