Disagreement cannot be ruled out in marriage; however, two reasonably intelligent and mature adults can live together in peace. There will always be differences of opinion, as no two normal people will always agree on everything. But they can work through those inevitable disagreements and resolve their conflicts. The best way to resolve conflicts is to seek for solution that will satisfy the needs of both partners. Couples should learn to turn their conflict into love fights; this is the exchanges during conflicts that help to resolve conflicts, as well as increase the love of spouses for one another.
A love fight entails certain attitude and action geared solely towards sustainable peace and harmony in the home. In other words, it is a positive process with no negativity. One of the principles to follow in the process of any love fight is keeping our emotions under control. When we are falsely accused or misjudged, most of us act angry on the inside and reflect that anger in some way in which of course, our spouses can feel our displeasure.
According to the scriptures, anger will never help us to resolve a conflict or help us grow. “… for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).
Then, how do we overcome anger? Erroneously, some of us in dealing with our anger during conflict bottle up our anger. This, unknowingly to us, may look right but it is not the best because the anger will inevitably resurfaces (like a time-bomb) in one form or the other, sooner or later. Neither should we direct the anger toward ourselves; that is one of the major causes of depression.
The healthiest way to dispel anger is to admit it audibly (“I am feeling angry right now”); identify the reason for the anger (“I feel angry when you speak sharply to me like that”); we should forgive the other person for failing to meet our expectations; and finally, kindly express our needs and desires to our mate. If we can do this, a resolution is just around the corner.
In fighting for love, both spouses must adopt a learner’s posture. Couples can learn and grow through conflict experiences in their marriage, by establishing this goal from the onset of their marriage relationship. Once there is tension, the most important thing is neither in making our spouse understand our point of view nor to win the argument. Instead, the important thing is to learn something valuable that will help us become better partner to our spouse as well as the person God wants us to be.
If we really want to resolve a conflict in our marriage, we need to reach out and begin to work toward strengthening our relationship; even if that means being vulnerable and making some changes in our lives. It will also help to pray, “Lord, help me to have a teachable spirit. Relieve me of my defensiveness, self-righteousness and anger, and help me to learn something that will cause me to grow”. If we can maintain that attitude, we are well on the way to resolving conflict via love fight.
Advisedly, it should not take several days for us to confront conflict in our homes. This can only be when we begin to think about our part of the blame for the conflict. We should readily be able to acknowledge our wrong, seek the other’s forgiveness, embrace, and process joyfully. While holding on to a conflict, something happens to our spouses before we resolve the conflict. Would we ever forgive ourself? It would be extremely painful and difficult. It is therefore of expedience that we keep short accounts of offences and completely in a manner that keeps our love for one another growing stronger.
Furthermore, in the process of love fights, we must listen. Our normal response in conflicts is to show how our spouses are unreasonable in their actions, pick at their details, correct their inaccuracies, refute their points of view and give explanations and reasons for our actions and utterances. As an inspired proverbs says, “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31).
We get to the root of the problem more readily if we allow our spouses to tell us how they are feeling and what their needs are. To ask them how they would have liked us to respond and what we can do to help resolve the problem in a way that is best for them. This is with the hope that they share their thoughts with us without hurting us. But whatever our partner says, our goal should be to listen; without arguing, without trying to get her to acknowledge our needs. Our only comments at this point should be to agree, or to seek further clarification.
If something sounds untrue or unfair, you should simply say, “What I heard you saying is…” And then share your impression of what your spouse have said and ask if you understand him or her correctly. After that you must devote yourself to listening. You must endeavour to ensure that you express your unconditional love and understanding to your partner, who must feel understood and valued by you. Importantly, if you want your partner to understand you, then you must make yourself understandable by being willing to answer questions, share thoughts honestly, and avoid being defensive and listen and think before speaking. You must be willing to look at things from your spouse’s viewpoint.
On a more serious note, we should learn to think before we speak. Many of us have our mouths in motion before our minds are in gear. And in attempts to resolve differences, our utterances and attitude are like pouring petrol on a bush fire. Wives are more guilty of this, though some men have months that are like slaughter house. Thinking before speaking will help us tell our mates what we are feeling and what we want without hurting them.
In love fight, we must learn to focus on our own part of the blame. Blaming others usually sterns from a low self-image; we feel that we must win order to establish our worth. Sometimes we blame others simply to avoid admitting that we have contributed to the problem.
If we are serious about strengthening a relationship, we must ask ourselves what we have done in the first instant to agitate the conflict. If our partner feels hurt, unappreciated, criticized or rejected, then we must examine our own attitudes to those feelings? Even if our actions were unintentional, the tone of our voice or the expression on our face may have fueled the feelings, and we must be willing to acknowledge that. However, they are a few cases where the partner being attacked aggressively is blameless.
We have to realize that the ways in which we contribute to the arguments in our marriage may just be nothing more than a disapproving glance, or a probing question that subtly belittles our partners. So, go out and admit your part of the blame.
In conclusion, there would always be conflict in the marriage as there would always be differences of opinion. But our reaction to these conflicts is what really counts.
Advisably, we should be working through marital conflicts with love fight which will eventually results in an exciting and mutual bond of intimacy in our relationship. So, fight for your love with love.