One wife shared that she and her husband had totally different approaches to solving problems or settling arguments. She came from a family who were “great arguers,” and they thrashed everything out as they shared feelings and dealt with differences. Her husband came from a family that tended to ignore problems and pretend they weren’t there. She saw him trying to do the same thing until she understood the Love and Respect principles and realized her argumentative style of problem-solving was causing him to go into “fight or flight” mode. Since she has tried to be more respectful, she has noticed a great difference in the way he responds to solving problems. He now steps up to the plate and faces problems instead of seeming to ignore them. Instead of remaining opponents, they have become a team.
On the other side of the coin, a husband wrote to tell me that he discovered he needed to ask his wife’s forgiveness for how aggressive he often was during conflict. He is now more aware of when his wife is hurt by something he did or said that felt unloving to her. He has learned the importance of asking for her forgiveness so they can move ahead in a more productive manner.
How about you? Are you and your spouse fighting for authority or working towards peacemaking during conflict? Are you so bent on winning the argument that you are running over your spouse with your harshness? Or are you the one who is running from the conflict, trying to keep a false sense of peace?
Pray this week about what God wants you to do differently to resolve the conflict in your marriage. Then take the necessary steps to move first!
Excerpts taken from The Language of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.