HUSBANDS AND WIVES WHO FIGHT
When I was growing up, I knew a couple that fought over and over. I had never seen anything like it. There was yelling, cursing, complaining and criticizing one day, then the next day all would be normal. I never knew when it would start or stop. It went on their whole married life. It embarrassed me and it scared me, but it was just a way of life for them. It was normal – or was it? Is it OK to fight now and then?
The answer is no. We won’t always agree, we will hurt each other and bring out emotions in each other, but fighting to win and/or hurt someone is never right. Still, that it’s OK to fight sometimes is a common lie to that many believe. The lie says that it’s no big deal because every couple fights from time to time. “Fights aren’t that bad; they help clear the air and let emotions out – or so they claim.” But it’s a lie. If it’s between married couples or friends doesn’t matter. Fighting does much harm but no good.
The opposite side of the coin is that we should never disagree about anything because if we do, something is wrong with our marriage. That isn’t true either. Disagreements are inevitable, but not fights.
Satan is all about anger (John 8:44) and loves to provoke people who love each other to get angry with each other. That’s a weapon of his we need to know how to counter. The Bible says to never go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26) – and that doesn’t mean to stay up and fight all night! It means we need to learn to communicate and work things through. No one really wins in a fight. One person may get their own way, but the relationship loses. Usually the louder, angrier, stronger person comes out on top, except when the quieter one is so good at their passive aggression, they ‘win.’ When we are wrong, we need to admit it and when we are right, we need to keep quiet. That’s good advice!
Each couple needs to learn to communicate, which really means to learn to listen and understand what the other is saying. One person, usually the more introverted person, should talk first and explain their concern in a gentle, quiet way (1 Peter 3:4). The other must focus on understanding what is said. When the listener can repeat to the speaker what they are feeling and saying, then the other can address what is said. But they shouldn’t speak, argue, disagree or say anything until they can repeat the first person’s words in an acceptable way. Speaking we can do – listening we are very poor at. Make it your goal to be a good listener. If you want to read more about this look on my website https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/family/articles-books/ or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most fights are not about the thing you are arguing about. You probably follow the same pattern with different topics or subjects. What’s really behind them is a person’s pride and ego. She feels unloved and is hurt. He feels disrespected and is hurt. Stubbornness, pride, and self-centeredness are what fights are about. Discussions are about issues; fights are about control and winning. No, it’s never OK to fight.
Do you and your mate fight to win? Or do you listen to each other to better understand where they are coming from? Do you feel ‘listened to and understood’ in your marriage? Does your mate?