Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Conflict Resolution

Well my computer is still at the doctor (boo) so here i am blogging from the smart cellular. Hehe.

This weekend husby and i went on some fun dates! We went to the local high school football game on Friday. We went to lunch at a nice little restaurant, saw Taken 2, and went to a new church/worship service on Saturday. On Sunday we went to our church and then lunch at one of our favorite places.
It was a really great weekend.

But it had the potential to be a not so great weekend. On Friday night after the game my prince and i got into (dun dun dun) an argument.

I know what you are thinking, "but Monica, you are married which means you never fight. You are a Christian wife and have a Christian husband, what is happening?
i thought your marriage was perfect because of all the stuff you post on twitter and instagram (Mrs_v820).
I am baffled! How could you have argued?"

Ok, hopefully you don't think like that... But i would be lying if i said that I didn't kinda think that way when i was single.

I want to be real on my blog. I don't want to paint this picture of the perfect marriage that is unattainable.
My husband and i are two months into our second year of marriage and we are still learning! We get into arguments. We disagree sometimes. Occasionally we hurt the other persons feelings. We forgive. We apologize. We forgive. We apologize. We forgive again.

So.... conflict can come from anywhere. Insecurity. Past hurts (caused by the person or other people). Misunderstanding.  Not communicating at all. Frustrations. Fear. Confusion. And the list can go on and on.
We, as individuals, need to deal with things like past hurt, fear, insecurities, learning to communicate effectively, etc. But let's pretend (well... Its not really pretending for me) that we haven't dealt with every single issue yet... And a conflict has happened.
This isn't an issue at our house but for the sake of conflict resolution we will use this small example.

Your husband left the toilet seat up!!! Oh great! Out of your anger and frustration you confront your husband who has just got home from work. Out of his defensiveness and tiredness the conflict emerges.
Here are some things i have learned..... Uh.... things i am learning about conflict resolution.

1) talk calmly. Even if the other person confronts you with loudness and harsh words. Usually if you can keep your cool the other person will calm themselves down too.
2) use your best communication skills. Let the other person know that you HEAR them.
3) do not try to "win" the argument. You guys are a TEAM! the goal is to get to an understanding ... Not to win or hurt the other person more.
4) don't play the blame game (this is YOUR fault. You always do this. I get,mad because of YOU!). this is also a game with no winners.
Use phrases like "when you do this... It makes me feel...." That way your spouse knows that its not HIM and you can effectively express how you feel without being offensive (when you leave the toilet seat up it makes me feel disrespected. When you yell and scrream at me it makes me feel attacked.
When you don't call me when you leave the store it makes me feel worried. When you don't want to hold my hand it makes me feel unloved." )
5) never bring up past things that you have already forgiven him for (this is just like last Friday when you left the seat up!)
6) let them know again that you truly hear them by talking about what has been said when you apologize and agree to work on what caused the conflict. (ok sweetheart i never want you to feel disrespected. So will try my best to remember to put the toilet seat down and i am very sorry.)
7) in a conflict it is good for both of you to apologize and forgive and agree to change. (i am sorry too. I don't ever want you to feel attacked so i will work on how i approach you)
8) it is never to late to humble yourself and apologize. Even if you feel the conflict has been resolved still apologize!,still forgive. It helps your marriage so so much.

Also remember that you married an imperfect person and you as well are imperfect. Jesus is the only perfect one. When we remind ourselves that our spouse is not perfect we can start to forgive more frequently... Because we also need that constant forgiveness.

Like i have always said make sure you are responding in love and not reacting in anger.

Husby and i are still learning. Still growing. Still experiencing and making mistakes. But we do it together.

{Ephesians 4:26 NKJV}
“Be angry, and do not sin” : do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

Resolving conflict and love. - Monica


Sippy Cups and Pearls said...

great tips and good post! people need to know the REAL in a marriage...by the way, how was Taken 2?

Lisa Field Thunborg said...

I think that a lot of people....myself included feel or felt that marriage would be a continuation of dating but that you live together. This is so not true. Marriage is hard...much harder than dating. Conflicts arise and feelings do get hurt. I agree that you need to try and stay calm in conflict and use "I" message and not "YOU" messages when communicating. Great article Monica. :)

Mariel Collins said...

Love it! So true i always had the picture that christian couples never argued and everything was perfect..lol! Thank you for your honesty!

Whitney Elise said...

I am really guilty of #5. I have been trying REALLY hard to not bring past stuff up whenever an argument arises that may have happened in the past.

but I LOVE #6! It's so important that both people apologize even when one of the people doesn't necessarily do something wrong. It's still makes my sweetie feel better when I apologize for coming across wrong, or promising to try and remember more. I know that I really appreciate this also at the end of a disagreement.

I appreciate your honesty here! It's encouraging to see real life happening between a Christian husband & wife =]

Megan said...

Great tips! My hubby and I BOTH have a temper which isn't good. I am praying for God to help me grow the fruit of self control.

Mariel Collins said...

Hey! Hope you had a great weekend! I nominated you for the Liebster award! Check out my blog for all the details.


April said...

I am SO glad you are real!

One of my cousins got married years ago and she stated that her and her husband NEVER fought! like as if that were some accomplishment. To her that was good but underneath that not fighting, she was seriously hurting. As they continued on in their marriage, more stuff came out and it wasn't good. I saw her become a wallflower not the blossoming lady that I knew and it was making me sad and she never shared what was going on.

There is a way to fight. And I thank you for bringing up those points.

As weird as it may sound, sometimes when my husband and I have arguements, those are SOMETIMES the times I feel closest to him because I'm able to hear his heart. It stinks that it comes to that, and I wish that since we are believers in Christ we didn't have those heated discussions.

I just wish that more couples in the church would be real. Yes, it's ugly and I don't ask them to air out all their dirty laundry but I do think that if we are part of the Body, we need to be real. Because in doing so, you just might help others, just like you are by writing this post.
So thank you! (And sorry for the long comment :))

MrsV820 said...

April -
You are a no-reply blogger so I couldnt write an email to you... so I really hope that you come back and check this!
Thank you so much for reading, first of all!

I am glad that you found my realness refreshing! I know that lots of people want to say that their marriage is "perfect" and they do not argue... but like you mentioned I think it is unhealthy. I think that healthy confrontation is good for a marriage. When things are left unsaid there is usually a lot of resentment that can start to build up and hurt the marriage more then help the marriage.

Husby and I get into little arguments but it is the best feeling in the world getting through that argument and still being completely (or more) in love with one another.
As long as there is true forgiveness and the issue gets resolved then I think that TALKING will ALWAYS help the marriage!

Praying for you and your husband to experience more love together and with the Lord!
Praying for you cousin as well, April!

Have a great day! Goodness.. i hope you read this.