I grew up in a home where my parents argued and I’m guessing it’s the reason I thought arguing was normal during the first seven years of my marriage.
I thought all married couples argued — shoot I’d seen some of them have arguments.
After seven years of marriage having at least one argument a week was commonplace. I remember having an argument with my husband the first week we met which is why I never thought it was important for me to try and change. I was like that when he met me and I wasn’t going to change.
I was headstrong and opinionated.
I looked at our arguing not as something that was destroying my marriage but more a battle of wits. He thought he was smart but he was no match for my venomous tongue.
In many of our arguments I select just the right word to cut his ego and self worth down to size.
It was me against him and I was winning…or so I thought.
After seven years of marriage he was fed up with me and I was fed up with him. We both knew if we didn’t change we weren’t going to make it.
I don’t know who made the decision first but God took each of us our own individual paths to becoming peacemakers in our home.
At this point in our marriage we had to give all or nothing because resurrection of our marriage depended on it.
When I made up my mind to fight for my marriage instead of fighting my husband here are some of the things I did to avoid arguments.
10 Ways to Avoid Arguments With Your Spouse and Still Go to Bed Best Friends
1. Realize your husband is your ally and not your enemy.
If you are looking at your marriage from the perspective of ‘me against him’ you are not looking at it through the eyes of God.
In the book of Genesis the husband and wife re called “one”. Arguing with your husband is idiotic when you look at your spouse from the perspective of you both being one. Arguing with him is equivalent to arguing with yourself in the eyes of God.
When one of you becomes string enough to link arms with the other and commit to working together instead of against one another you will be on the road to creating the marriage you always dreamed about.
2. Strive to be righteous not right.
There will be times when you are absolutely right and times when you are dead wrong. In those times when you are right is it worth it to make sure your spouse knows it by any means necessary?
If it is and it’s causing you to speak to your spouse in a demeaning manner or raise your voice it’s probably not worth it. I’ve learned that whether we argued over finances, the kids or anything else, it was never worth the amount of disrespect we threw each others way. I now realize why we argued. It was because of selfishness, fear and pride.
Pride will make you think you are always right and that you must get that point across. It’s not true.
Instead of focusing on being right, begin to focus on being righteous. Anytime you feel the need to argue your point consult with God first and ask Him to guide your words and actions so that while expelling your point your character will come across as righteous.
3. Forgive your spouses short comings.
If my husband made an error in judgement on any number of issues, instead of forgiving him, encouraging him, coming up with a solution and moving on, I’d use that as an opportunity to hold a grudge against him especially if I told him how to avoid the error in the first place.
Instead of using these opportunities to show grace and mercy I would stick it to him.
God had to really convict me in this area by reminding me all of the time he had been gracious and merciful to me.
4. Encourage instead of discourage.
Do you know how powerful your words are? Your words have the power to build up or tear down.
When you use your words to encourage your husband instead of discourage him, you can in fact make him better.
It’s when I began to build him up after a set back that I realize the power of my influence to diffuse his anxieties and encourage him to keep seeking God for direction over our family.
Not only did I focus more on what he was doing right, I began to verbalize my delight.
5. Don’t be easily offended.
The book of Ephesians talks about not being easily offended and I was certainly one who was offended easily. Any comment I took as being snide resulted in me going on the offense and badgering my husband regarding the motive behind his comment.
6. Weigh life’s issues against Gods goals.
Is what you’re arguing about something that will further the kingdom of God?
When I changed what was important to me it helped me see more clearly what issues were worth fighting for.
I didn’t have to argue with my husband over things any more when I started asking two questions.
1. Is what my husband asking me to do a sin?
2. Will getting my point across further the goals of God for our family?
When pleasing God and doing His will became my ultimate goal the things I used to argue with my husband about became less and less important.
7. Stop before you get angry.
I was just telling a friend that I struggled so badly with anger. In fact, if I was angry enough about something I wouldn’t let my husband go to sleep until we duked it out and cam to a resolution.
What I learned from that tie in my life was that most times there was an unresolved emotion that came just before the anger.
When I really started probing into the “why” behind my anger I realized that the precursor to my anger was usually a result of hurt or disappointment.
If you want to avoid arguments, let your spouse know when he’s hurt or disappointed you and don’t be afraid to tell him without all the attitude.
When you tell someone they’ve hurt you with a “stank” attitude they are more likely to become offended and feel attacked. Allowing myself to be vulnerable enough the communicate my hurt or disappointment before I’d worked myself into an anger frenzy allowed my husband to apologize quicker and avoid an argument.
8. Become a better communicator.
Don’t wait until you are angry to talk. Talk before that and be transparent. If you can’t be transparent with your spouse who can you be transparent with?
My husband is my best friend so you won’t find me pouring my heart out to my girls.
While I love talking to them I feel absolutely confident that they are there for me if I need to talk, I don’t feel like I need to tell them what’s frustrating me about my marriage.
I instead take my frustrations right to the source. I let my husband know when I am struggling, feeling unappreciated or unloved.
I let him know in a calm and non-accusatory manner. My goal in communicating tough issues with him is not to attack him because like said in point number one, we are allies not enemies.
My goal in communicating with him is too share weak areas in our marriage so that we can come together and figure out how to strengthen those areas.
9. Pray alone and together.
Be transparent in your prayers but speak the truth of God over your words. For example, when I was so angry with my husband I‘d tell God how angry I was and how I thought my husband was wrong.
I’d follow that up with the truth of Gods word.
I knew that no matter what my husband did or did not do right, that God would never leave me or forsake me. I’d remind myself that God is concerned about the things that concern me.
I’d especially ask God to show me my faults instead of me focusing on my husbands. And finally I’d ask for strength to cleave to my husband rather than pull away.
10. Flee from a hard heart.
I had a habit of giving my husband the cold shoulder after an argument especially if it wasn’t resolved.
My distant treatment could last up to several days if I wanted it to. Whenever he crossed me I‘d become the ice Queen and would as cold as possible toward him until I felt he’d jumped through enough hoops to get back into my good graces.
Giving your spouse the cold shoulder is a dangerous game to play. I once heard a man say that divorce begins before you every file the paperwork.
It begins in the heart and mind. It begins when we start to pull away and harden our hearts toward each other. At the time it might feel like we’re getting even but what we are doing it tearing the heartstrings that connect us to our spouses.
As we matured my husband and I both saw how damaging this was and therefore stopped being childish and begin to be humble. No longer was it a battle to see who could hold onto their anger the longest. We began to battle for each others heart.
Soon our goal became being the first to apologize and draw nearer to one another.