How not to resolve your marriage conflict

(Photo: Unsplash/Gabby Orcutt)

I met up with a group of girlfriends over dinner last week and we discussed about how we handled conflicts with our spouses. It was a very interesting conversation as we had different ways of approaching it.

Reflecting on my three years of marriage, now with a baby, Phillip and I definitely had times when we argued over small matters and big issues.

I always knew that communication would be the key to a successful marriage, and forgiveness should be the first thing that comes to my mind when I get offended.

However, it is always easier said than done. There are so many times when I really wanted to walk out of the marriage, or wondered if I had married the right person.

But with my experiences, I have learnt that instead of putting the blame on the other person, I should reflect if there was anything for me to work on to become better.

There are also some tips and tricks which I have picked up these years about tackling conflicts in a way that would not affect my marriage or hurt my husband. These tactics also added humour to our marriage and resolved conflicts more easily.

So let me share them with you. 

Whatever he says, if I feel discouraged, I will tell him in a humorous manner. Often times, when we are upset or discouraged because our spouse has knowingly or unknowingly made a comment that has hurt us, we can dive straight into the heart of the issue and try to give them a piece of our minds.

However, what is interesting is that when I changed my way of telling him I was upset, he actually responded positively to it. For example, I would tell him sarcastically, "Wow, your comment was so encouraging, I really needed to hear that." It was met with laughter from both sides, but I knew the point was made.

As a married couple, we tend to do separate things at home. We returned home tired from work and just want to be alone. We usually try to chat more in the car on the way home or during dinner. However we all agree that just some conversations are not enough.

As a wife

As a wife, I still love the idea that my husband will ask me out for dates, hence I didn't initiate too many of the dates for us. I would say "Oh we have not spent enough time together, I feel like we don't know each other anymore, are you my flatmate?" Funny as it sounds, instead of getting all upset about not spending enough time with each other, it often helps to bring a point across in a humorous way so both sides can make some effort.

It is also very normal to argue with our spouses. There is nothing embarrassing about that. I had to learn to control my temper and my sharp tongue when we argued. What works for me is to remain silent and reflect on our argument before speaking.

After reflection, I would either realise there is something I need to work on as well, or there is really an issue which I feel that my husband needs to change. One of the other better methods is to sleep on it – if I did not feel that I needed to address the issue after waking up, I decided it was not an important issue at all. But if I still feel upset after I wake up, then we will definitely talk about it as a couple.

When two individuals come together, we bring in our own personalities and perspectives. It creates more fun and joy when we have different perspectives. The various perspectives mould us into a better couple, and also help us understand God's wonderful creation and everyone's uniqueness. Arguments are inevitable, but that's when we need to remember, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

As a spouse, it is also important to hold Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32 close to our hearts, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Marriage is a great journey for a couple to learn and become better. It might not be easy, but definitely rewarding. Hopefully this simple entry has helped someone today to resolve very common conflicts within their marriage.

Courtesy of Press Service International