Marriages are never exempt from conflict or heated arguments. Differences in personality, style of speaking and way of thinking play a part in conflict. I am an extreme introvert while Michelle is an extreme extrovert. We are total opposites. Because of this big difference conflict develops at times.
The key is learning how to navigate through the conflict or argument without igniting a fire so big that it burns down the whole marriage relationship. The harsh reality is that every married couple struggles with communicating well until we find that secret that leads to great communication. It is a treasure that once found allows for us to still argue but not hurt. We can still differ but not divide. We can have opinions but not point fingers. We can fight fair. The heat in the kitchen was continually hot in our marriage relationship at one point. Michelle and I would just do the wrong thing when things got heated. We would follow that stupid phrase “If you cannot take the heat get out of the kitchen.” We would shut down and neither would speak. Malice then kicks in and the relationship goes sour. Then we would have to work even harder to build back up again.
Michelle and I have found the treasure from a verse that holds three secrets to great communication, leading to less arguments even in the middle of conflict. This treasure of a verse is the key to putting out any fire that heats up in the conflict. Conflicts are normal because of difference in opinions but without understanding how to communicate well these differences turn into bad feelings leading to an unnecessary blow up that changes an atmosphere that was once filled with love and harmony. Apply these three secrets from this verse and your communication will change for the better. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19.”
Listen Not Just Hear
You can be hearing your spouse speak but not listening to what they are actually saying. This challenges many husbands and wives because we tend to be thinking about what we want to say before our spouses finish what they are saying to us. Taking the time to listen without interruption actually allows your spouse space to get it out so you can have space to get your point across afterwards. When you both get your turn there is more peace and there is a better place for apologies and forgiveness.
Wait Your Turn
Fight the urge to speak while your spouse is speaking to you. Talking over your only ignites a bigger conflict. You may not even get a chance to speak much during that conflict but it is better to make a decision that will bring more peace than to have a night of chaos and hurt. The truth is when the atmosphere changes for the better the mood follows. Then you can get out your concerns in a much better way where your spouse is willing to listen to you. The point is to share your heart’s concern not to add more wood to the already blazing fire.
Train Your Emotions
Nobody can control your emotions for you. Not even your spouse. Actually, your spouse being the closest to you may be the reason you get emotional but your spouse is not the one to stop that emotional blow up. Anger in itself is natural but the behavior that follows the angry feeling is a choice. Even in a moment of a fiery argument we can make the choice to feel angry but remain calm. Next time you have a big argument with your spouse, just try your best to remain calm and watch what happens next. This is a true statement, “REAL LOVE LOVES EVEN WHEN REAL LOVE DOES NOT FEEL LIKE LOVING.” The truth is that we can make the choice to be kind to an already unkind spouse. We can choose to be patient with a spouse who is showing impatience. The secret to great communication in marriage is not hitting back out of anger but hitting back with love.
Love totally changes the temperature in any firey argument but it will never happen based on feelings. It happens based on choice. Michelle and I are living testimony of this truth and we are encouraging married couples to choose love even when all hell is breaking loose in your relationship. We pray for every married couple reading this article. Your journey is worth it and every marriage can be much better. Huddle up and enjoy each other in love.
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