Don’t Rock the Boat & You Float My Boat Date Night, Day 9

couple arguing 1

couple arguing 2

couple arguing

Reader Question: My husband and I argue a lot about little things and big things. We both love each other, and usually make up quickly, but we both have tempers. I know that’s not healthy for a marriage but we’re not sure how to fix this. Help!?! How do you and your husband resolve conflict both in short term and long term? How can a couple prevent fights in the first place? 

Friday’s Feedback: Great question as conflict is a huge part of marriage – in both a good and bad way! While conflict strengthens you as a couple and tests your character, it can also destroy your marriage.  I pray first and foremost that you dive into prayer and God’s Word and focus on His plan for ending/resolving conflict.

Ancient Hawaiian fishermen were experts at reading the weather to navigate on the open seas, to fish effectively to feed their families and to sell for profit, and to survive on cloudy or stormy nights. When the skies changed, the sea changed, affecting line of sight, directionality, tides, and winds, and the fishermen had to be prepared.

Think of your marriage like the boat, the changing weather patterns above you like emotions, and the tides like the ebb and flow of life. In your marriage, you need to be an expert at reading incoming weather changes (emotional surges) and be prepared for the ups and downs of the tides of life.

Today’s Get Real Valentine challenge is to know how to fight fairly and smartly! 

How to Fight Fairly

These 5 steps and their respective do’s and don’ts will hopefully help you watch for warning signs in the “emotional weather” and “tides of life” that could potentially rock the boat, and to help you navigate once you’re in the storm. Remember A-E-I-O-U when trying to avoid a fight, and if it can’t be avoided, when you’re gearing up for a fight! 

Act Lovingly

Remember you love your husband. Be kind with your response, both verbally and non-verbally. Pay attention to your body language and nip any disrespectful “non-verbal communication,” everything from  hip and hand placement to facial expression to general stance to tone of voice, etc.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire” (MSG).

3 Don’ts to Acting Lovingly 

  • Don’t avoid an argument because you are afraid to fight. Your partner will not appreciate you hiding an issue from him.
  • Don’t call him names. Labeling has no place in a marriage.
  • Don’t hit below the belt. Everyone has “sensitive areas.” Don’t use the knowledge you have about your partner’s weaknesses/vulnerabilities against him.

3 Do’s to Acting Lovingly 

  • Do be humble and kind when confronting your husband when you have an issue in your marriage. If you need to apologize for something, make sure you do this first.
  • Do speak respectfully, uplifting him with your words. For example, instead of saying, “You always forget to take out the trash,” say something like, “Honey, I know you’re a busy man with many responsibilities. I would appreciate it if you’d take out the trash tonight when you get a chance please.”
  • Do protect your husband’s heart by gently helping him through his sensitivities and weaknesses, and help him build on his strengths.

Endure Patiently

Take equal turns to express your feelings and concerns. If your partner needs time to cool off, give him that space. Agree on a time and place to revisit the subject. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love bears all things.”

2 Don’t to Enduring Patiently

  • Don’t continually bug him about making amends. Everyone moves in their own timing.
  • Don’t bad-mouth him to your girl friends, family, kids, or even in your journal while you’re waiting.

2 Do’s to Enduring Patiently 

  • Do allow him the time and space he needs. If it is really bothering you that you haven’t resolved things yet, gently remind him that you would like to discuss things soon because you love him and you hate being at odds.
  • Do go to God in prayer with your frustrations, anger, and pain while you’re waiting. Allow the Lord to take your burdens.

Include Clarity

Be sure your husband knows why you are angry, upset, or frustrated with him.

2 Don’ts to Including Clarity

  • Don’t camouflage the real issue.
  • Don’t use little irritants to segue into an argument.

2 Do’s to Including Clarity 

  • Do figure out what the underlying issue is – what’s “really” making you angry and upset.
  • Do resolve the underlying issue as soon as possible. Avoid letting the subject fester until you explode at your husband and he has no idea what for.

Operate Honorably

Name-calling, labeling, and verbal attacking is not okay in a marriage. Honor your husband by restraining yourself from badgering him verbally and showing disrespect through your actions.

4 Don’ts to Operating Honorably

  • Don’t bring up past offenses. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “…love keeps no record of wrongs.” Bringing up issues that you’ve previously resolved or that you’ve previously had is unfair.
  • Don’t ignore your husband when he’s speaking. 
  • Don’t be insensitive. Don’t make fun of him if he becomes emotional. James 3:4-5 warns us to “take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
  • Don’t react before thinking, even if this means you need to walk away for a few minutes. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”

4 Do’s to Operating Honorably

  • Do let the past lie in the past. Deal with the issue at hand, not what’s happened before.
  • Do listen humbly if your husband is correcting you. Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
  • Do respect crying. I hate to hurt Adam, just as he hates to hurt me. If you’ve grieved your man enough to provoke tears, you should grieve your actions/words.
  • Do restrain your mind, heart, and mouth from going places they shouldn’t by remembering these three little words: Holy Spirit, help! (*I got this tidbit from Bible study*)

Uphold Changes

This means once you’re done arguing and you’ve decided to make a change, intentionally stick to it.

3 Don’ts for Upholding Changes 

  • Don’t finish a discussion about a problem without finding a solution. This doesn’t mean that if you’re unable to find a solution that you need to stay up all night or not do anything else until you’ve written out a step-by-step perfect plan. This just means don’t walk away until you both feel the tension has been eased between the two of you, and you have at the very least settled on a time to come back together to discuss solutions if you need time/space to come up with one.
  • Don’t stubbornly refuse to compromise on occasion. A marriage is a give and take relationship.
  • Don’t agree to do something differently and then not stick to it.

3 Do’s for Upholding Changes 

  • Do be willing to work with your spouse to meet your goals in order to appease the current situation, and avoid problems in the future.  Do work hard to find a solution and to resolve things between the two of you beyond the immediate situation, especially if it’s a reoccurring issue or long-term battle.
  • Do be ready to negotiate and compromise on issues, and then uphold changes. Something I often do for Adam is to give him examples of what I would like to see changed in myself and him or us as a couple together.
  • Do be accountable to one another (or a trusted, godly outside party, if necessary) to make sure you stick to the changes you’ve both implemented. For example, Adam and I have discovered that we are both irritable with one another when we haven’t personally spent time in God’s Word. We’ve recently implemented this change in our marriage:  asking each other every night if the other has spent time with God and then encouraging the other to do so if they haven’t already. If we have, then we ask each other about what we’re learning. This way we keep each other accountable, encourage one another to grow spiritually, and deepen our mutual spiritual intimacy.

You Float My Boat Date Night 

*Another adorable idea for a date night from Pinterest* 

Make root beer floats together and attach this sweet little note: “You Float My Boat.” Pick out some fun glasses/cups and Valentine straws. Consider pairing root beer floats with a board games/burgers date night (or in our case: sloppy Joes).

If you’re not into root beer floats, try these other cute or romantic drink ideas found on Pinterest.

{Bubbly Valentine Love Potion: 1 (12-ounce) can strawberry soda, 4 cups raspberry sherbet, 1 (12-ounce) can of ginger ale}

{I’ve Got a Crush On You}

{ I’ve Got a Crush on You!}

*Editor’s Note: Still having connectivity issues at home due so I have to wait until the evenings to post or to get to the library. Keep this in prayer! Friday’s Feedback got shifted to today because of this!*

Advertisements

5 Comments

    Trackbacks

    1. Not All Sunshine and Rainbows, Part 4 of Resolution Solutions | Becoming His Eve
    2. Staying Accountable, Part 5, Day 25 | Becoming His Eve
    3. Do You Have a Conflict Prevention Policy? MMM Linkup | Becoming His Eve
    4. 15 More Ways to Encourage Your Husband, Part 2 | Becoming His Eve
    5. The P.R.A.I.S.E.Filled Heart :Friday’s Feedback | Becoming His Eve

    Drop a Line

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: