We have heard over and again that marriage is not a bed of roses and we 100% agree. Typically, husbands and wives have different upbringings, agendas, priorities, ideas on almost everything, and all of a sudden, they are forming a unit.
So, because oneness is a constant struggle, fighting is practically inevitable. It’s not a matter of if you will fight, but when.
So, if we are going to fight, how do we fight fair?
1. Don’t fight in public
Fighting in public usually escalates a fight. Both people become self-conscious about how the fight looks to family, friends, or strangers, which makes the situation more about the fight, and less above resolving the issue.
2. Don’t go to bed fighting, and always sleep in the same bed
Even the bible teaches us this “Don’t go to bed angry.” This quote comes from Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry, but don’t sin… don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger” Basically, don’t go to bed mad at each other. But I want to offer one exception to this rule.
3. Have cooling off periods to avoid yelling, interrupting, or retaliation
Try not to overreact. Yelling, and retaliation are usually forms of overreacting. They are rarely helpful or productive. Yelling, interrupting, and retaliation, typically causes the person you are lashing out at to shut down. The volume of your voice does not increase the validity of your argument.
4. Eliminate “always” and “never”
These types of accusations will only lead your spouse to focus on defending themselves, instead of seeking to understand you. Words like; always, never, only, ever, just, and other absolute words, cause fights to escalate unnecessarily.
5. Seek a resolution over a compromise
Be clear, honest, and specific about the root of the issue. Vague answers don’t help to find a permanent solution, which is what you both should be looking for. You can’t just say, “You’re so disrespectful,” or, “You never listen.” These statements create drama and prevent resolve.
6. Don’t drink
We aren’t saying don’t ever drink. Just don’t drink while you are fighting or trying to resolve an issue. This one is pretty simple and obvious… Drinking makes you more emotional, sensitive, angry, disrespectful etc. and so the probability of overreacting heightens.
7. Hold hands and remind each other you are on the same team
You know that point in the fight where it is about to get bad… stop right there, grab his/her hand, and then say these six words, “we are on the same team.” This is one of the most effective bomb diffusers in our marriage. It is really hard to be mad at each other when you are holding hands. It just is, try it.
8. Don’t vent to your mom, best friend, OR Facebook…
The motive behind this is likely drama. Avoid it completely. If you are truly seeking to resolve an issue in your marriage, this will only be a hindrance to your efforts. As great as your mom and best friend are, they are not the people you should go complaining to about your husband or wife. Keep your fights to yourself.
9. Pray about it more than you talk about it
I’ve found this to be a convicting truth for most… Especially when it comes to big decisions, hurts, struggles, losses, and fights within marriage. We are so quick to talk about the things we are going through, to dissect them, to understand them, and even to resolve them… but in our efforts, we procrastinate prayer. Oh, how we are missing out on the glory and evidence of God that would be revealed to us if only we prayed about it more than we talked about it.
10. Establish your own rules for fighting fair
We realise that our 10 rules for fighting fair might not be the same for you. We encourage you to sit down with your spouse and create your own rules for healthy fighting.