Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marriage Tips for the First Decade: Take off the Mask (Mask #2)

Mask #2: Couples rarely fight or argue in healthy marriages.

Scripture to consider:However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33, NIV)

The General Reality: There is such a variance in how we deal with conflict as individuals.  Put two of us together and often, you get the same results that you get when you mix really, hot, humid air with a bunch of cold, dry air – one very destructive storm.  Far too often I encounter married couples that believe that fighting and arguing is the absolute end-game for marriage.  For some, it’s about disturbing their peace and they just can’t handle the storm.  For others, there is deep hurt in their past that makes them believe that an argument is just plain unhealthy.  For me, my past has made me believe that arguing is necessary in relationships.  The truth is, none of this is really true and most of our opinions are simply based on past experiences.  While I have come through all types of storms, I’ve learned that it’s not the frequency of the storms that matter or even the intensity; it’s what you learn from them and how quickly you grow from them that will make or break your relationships.  Never give up folks, even when it seems hopeless, and you will reap the rewards of a vibrant, loving, joyful marriage.  Instead of comparing your marriage to others’ marriages, choose instead to compare yours with the standards of our God.

Conversation Starters

·         How do you and your spouse currently deal with conflict?

·         Does the conflict between you and your spouse make you uncomfortable around others?

·         Do you feel you have learned anything about your spouse as a result of conflict?

Things to Try

·         Sit down with your spouse sometime today and discuss some of the challenging aspects of your current relationship.

·         Pick one specific issue that your spouse complains about and ask your spouse how it makes them feel when you do whatever it is that frustrates them.  Although it is OK to have some open dialog, listen intently and try your absolute best not to defend yourself.

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