Let’s face it, disagreements in a marriage are inevitable. However, they don’t have to become a battle. In fact, they can become an opportunity to grow closer together. Each time you have a disagreement, you can learn something about your partner and maybe even about yourself.
When a disagreement occurs our natural tendency is to want to win the argument. However, you are a team and the only way the team can win is when you both win. Therefore, keep in mind that you are looking for a solution that you both find acceptable.
If at all possible, do not have long-distance arguments. No shouting at each other from different rooms, or even different parts of the room. The first step is to hold hands and ask God to help you find an acceptable solution. Then continue to hold hands as you discuss the problem. (Holding hands keeps you connected and helps keep the energy level of the discussion at a reasonable level.)
The person who discovered the problem should start the discussion by restating what they see the problem is and why they feel that it is a problem. Their partner must wait until they are done and then they can ask QUESTIONS to help them better understand the issue. Once they feel that they fully understand their partners position, they should restate their partners position and ask if they are correct. If necessary, repeat this process until the first partner feels that their position is understood. (This may require going back into their past to figure out why this issue is important to them.) Now the other partner states their position and The process is repeated for them.
During this process do not bring up side issues or past failures. Also, avoid absolutes and “you” statements like “you always” or “you never”. These cause your partner to feel attacked and they stop listening and start working on their counter statements.
Once both partners feel that their positions are understood then start discussing possible solutions. If necessary write down the possible solutions and then each partner rates them as to how acceptable the solution is to them. 1 being ‘I hate it’ and 10 being ‘I love it’. Hopefully, there will be a solution that you can both live with. If not (and if time permits) agree to put off a decision until you have both prayed some more about it.
If time doesn’t permit using the above process and the decision can’t be delayed, then try to come up with a solution that you can both live with. Then agree to get together when you have enough time to properly discuss the issue. Otherwise, this will issue will probably come up again.
If you still have children at home, you can let them see you going through this process as long as the issue isn’t about them or any siblings. This is good training for them in how to handle conflicts in their relationships.
Thank you for reading.
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