Conflict in Marriage
This is truth – when there is a conflict in our marriage, there are three truths – my husband’s truth, my truth and the objective truth. Yes, Chris and I have conflict once in a while and when we do, I take a little “time out” and often think out loud on paper. Writing helps me process my thoughts.
Disagreements between my husband and I doesn’t irk me. I don’t relish conflict (in fact, I often feel quite discouraged in the midst of it) but I also don’t hold my breath through it, hoping it will go away or solve itself. I know better… unresolved conflict results in deep trench digging and once the pattern is established, the damage intensifies.
In our marriage, God has brought two very different people together and I have made peace with reality that conflict is inevitable – it’s not “if” – it’s “when.” On the other hand, I strongly believe that conflict is also an opportunity to honour God (1 Corinthians 10.31) so it’s not something that I avoid at all costs.
I’m thinking that healthy communication in a marriage is about balancing two subjective truths and communicating in a way that honours God and respects the other person. It can’t be a win/lose situation and neither person can make “changing the other person” his/her goal.
Chris and I are both Christians but we look at life through very different grids. Most of the time, I appreciate his perspective but there are days when well…the above comic says it all. I know that my responsibility is to humble myself, examine my own grid, recognize and confess my own sin, communicate in love and listen well. Over the years, God has entrusted me with so many opportunities to come along side others and help them deal with their conflicts but somehow, it’s different in my own marriage. Poor communication happens the same way in this house but when I’m in the conflict, there are times that I miss the cues. (There are times when Chris does too!)
It always boils down to Romans 12:18. So far as it depends on me, have I done everything possible to live peacefully with Chris?
The longer we’re married, the better we get at loving each other.
MAKE A MOMENT TO MUSE
1. Have you ever met a married couple who claim that they never have conflict? What’s your thinking about this?
2. Who is better in conflict – you or your husband? Why?
3. Can you think of one practical way to improve communication between you and your spouse?
speak truth:“I know two things. I’m a great sinner and God is a great Savior.” John Newton