5 Keys to Fighting Fair in Your MarriageIn marriage, like champion boxers, you have to approach the fight the right way. Here are some keys to a clean fight so that you both come out alive.
- Listen Lovingly. Don't be so defensive about everything. When you listen lovingly you actually listen for what they are saying and how they are feeling and not just setting yourself up for the counter punch argument to why you are right and they are wrong. Getting to the root understanding of how your spouse is feeling is essential in fighting forward.
- Timing and Tone are Vital: Sometimes as a spouse you feel like you have to bob and weave to say the right thing at the right time and in just the right way. It is easy for this marital duty to feel like a chore, the burden of a needy spouse, but it is important we see it differently. We must view this for what it is in the truest sense, not as we might in the moments of stress, exhaustion or anger. Our sensitivity to time and tone is another way we serve our spouse for who and where they are, not who and where we wish they were.
- Stay Focused: one of the most common reasons couples end up fighting about the same thing over and over again is a lack of focus in their arguments. The fight starts about the dishes, jumps to the laundry, hops over to money for a terrible turn, hobbles down the hall of the past and then both parties collapse on the living room floor, writhing in anger, pain and frustration for another fight that only set us further back. Fight with purpose. Fight forward. Argue to get somewhere and to learn something that you didn't know before. It's difficult in the heat of the moment but try to stay focused on one topic and work to come to a resolution on it.
- No Low Blows: No one can hurt us more than those that know us best. Make up your mind to never go there. Never take a shot in their place of vulnerability. The insecurity that has led them to depression and shame. The failures of their past that only you know about. Anger and pride will attempt to convince us to hit them in the area that we know will bring them to their knees. You will forget what you argued over but neither of you will forget the time you crossed the line. The closer we are to someone, the deeper the words cut.
- Fight in the same direction. Couples that argue regularly forget that they are on the same team. The love of their life turns into a bitter rival. When you fight in the same direction you both strive for peace. Blessed are the peacemakers. Celebrate their success and mourn in their pain with them. We win as a team. We lose as a team.