5 Ways to Win Every Fight With Your Spouse
My husband would tell you that over our 14-year marriage, I’ve given him countless ‘rules’ on what he should do when we disagree. Each time we argue, he asks what he can do differently next time. Being the submissive wife that I am, I tell him. So he’s tucked all these rules away, tiptoeing his way through the do’s and don’ts minefield when we disagree.
The great news for my husband, and for me, is that there are much better rules for navigating an argument than the ones I’ve given him. Because God wants our marriage to succeed, He’s given us Scripture to guide us through inevitable disagreements without losing respect for one another.
To Win Every Fight With Your Spouse:
1. Shut up.
The Bible says that the tongue is like a small spark that can set an entire forest ablaze. This small part of the body has the power to destroy relationships with the ones we love (James 3:5-6). When we’re angry, it’s better to be quiet rather than wound our spouses with our words.
Instead of being quick to defend ourselves, James 1:19 says we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Listening to your spouse lets them know you care more about what they have to say than you do about being right.
3. Acknowledge what your spouse is experiencing.
As the body of Christ, we suffer together and we rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). This is even more true when the person suffering or rejoicing is your spouse. When you got married, you became one flesh (Genesis 2:24). This means you share your spouse’s hurts and frustrations, even when you’re the one causing them.
You share your spouse’s hurts and frustrations, even when you’re the one causing them.
4. Stop attacking the person and attack the problem.
It’s tempting to think of disagreements pitting you against your spouse in battle. But when you remember that you’re both fighting a common enemy, you realize you’re actually teammates. We are to be as quick to forgive our teammates as the Lord is to forgive us
(Ephesians 4:29-32). Forgiving your spouse strengthens your marriage so you can fight better together.
5. Don’t worry about resolving the disagreement; work to understand your spouse’s point of view.
You may be right. You might actually be the winner of this fight. But what do you win? And how far will that get you in your marriage? You’ll still have disagreements in the future and if all you’re worried about is winning, you’ll lose your relationship along the way. What’s more important is that you understand your spouse and can better encourage him or her next time
We were never meant to create our own rules for disagreeing with our spouses. As our Creator, God knew the challenges we would face and He tells us how to love our spouses through conflict. Throw away your rulebook for your spouse and help each other see that God’s ways give us all the guidance we need.
It’s safe to say my husband can throw away the rule book I’ve given him.