Today, Tyler and I are sharing with you some conflict resolution strategies for when you and your spouse get into an argument. This article was borne out of a lot of experience with conflict with each other. When we first got married at the ripe age of 20, we fought…A LOT. We had to learn “on the job” how to fight fairly with each other.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
A few memorable instances of us fighting fairly – NOT!
After several minutes of sobbing hysterically at Tyler, he replied: “Your tears are invalid.”
Once, while expressing my frustration and anger at something that Tyler deemed benign, he laughed at me. So I threw my keys at him. And he laughed some more.
If you’ve ever thought your husband had a heart of stone you can take comfort knowing I (Tyler) had the emotional sensitivity of a gargoyle. I thought I was the great arbiter of which emotions were justifiable and which were not. Turns out you’re better off empathizing and actually caring about what your spouse cares about.
On my part (Tiffany), I had to realize that I was allowing my emotions to rule me – for me, what I felt was my truth. My feelings were reality, and whatever Tyler did or said could not convince me otherwise. I unintentionally weaponized my tears against him in arguments, and they quickly became ineffective in convincing him of anything.
The strength of your emotional response to a situation has no correlation to how true it is or isn’t. Sometimes I (Tyler) felt like held hostage by Tiffany’s emotions in any given situation. She would feel something so strongly it made it difficult to disagree without further hurting her feelings. She has since greatly grown in her emotional self-control, which has stopped more disagreements from unnecessarily escalating and makes it easier for me to be sensitive when she does feel something strongly.
Both of us have said things to each other we regret, taken small hurts too personally, thrown old failures at each other like daggers, and generally just been immature, selfish and filled with pride.
Since our first year of marriage, we have grown a lot (and, clearly, there was a lot of room to grow!) through the power of God. We wanted to share some conflict resolution strategies with you here today to hopefully help you through difficult situations with your spouse.
It’s summer time! And what a strange summer it’s been so far…
Look, we ALL need some fun, de-stressing dates with our spouse this summer. Talk to your spouse and pick a day of the week to be your “date day” and then make it happen! Even if you don’t have a sitter, some of these can all be done from the comfort of your home. The rest are social-distancing approved.
Also, if you want more stay-at-home date ideas, I’ve got a whole year’s worth of ideas right here.
It’s Monday morning, and perhaps the magic of Father’s Day is beginning to wane. Yesterday, we honored and praised the dads in our lives. We could name a laundry list of wonderful attributes about them. But today, all of those critical thoughts we held back yesterday are sneaking their way to the forefront of our minds, turning us slightly sour.
Why does he have to do it like that?
How many times do I have to remind him?
Is he ever going to be better at this?
When will he ever stop doing that?
I don’t do that, why does he?
These critical examinations of our husband’s shortcomings run like an ongoing commentary in the background as we go through our days.
Perfection. It’s what I so often expect from my husband.
But, as I poke and prod at my husband – whether silently or aloud – I’m forgetting one important thing: in the same way that God is working on me, molding me to become more and more like His Son, He’s doing the same work on my husband.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
By continually pointing out the ways that my husband is not perfect – perhaps in an attempt to make him grow or maybe because I’m just annoyed – I’m not entrusting my husband to the One who is actually helping him to grow.
If you’re wondering what to get your husband for Father’s Day, look no further. You helped me corral your hubbies into answering a survey for me, and the results are in! Here’s what dads really want for Father’s Day…
First, how important is Father’s Day, really?
The average rating out of 5 stars was 3.5 stars – which basically means: they enjoy Father’s Day, it makes them feel appreciated, but perhaps they think about it a little less than we do about Mother’s Day.
So you want to prioritize your marriage, but with little ones in the house it’s hard – if not impossible – to get out for regular date nights. The good news is that with a little bit of preparation, you can have really great quality time with your spouse at home. I’ve put together a list of 52 stay-in date night ideas for you and your spouse to do after the kids go down for bed!
52 ideas: that’s one for each week of the year…so you’ve got ONE FULL YEAR of stay-in date night ideas right here!
So you want to prioritize your husband and pray for him more – but what should you pray exactly? Here are some scriptures to pray over for your husband as well as a printable prayer prompt at the end with daily verses to pray. You can also check out this post by My Joy in Chaos with 50+ more scriptures to pray for your husband!
Last week we discussed how God calls us to love Him first, above our families. This week I wanted to talk about the priorities within our families: that as moms we need to prioritize our husbands – even above our children.
I say this by way of confession: it’s easy to put my children ahead of my husband. They’re needier – and their needs are more urgent. They’re dependent on me and therefore sap my energy wholly. I know you know what I’m talking about. I remember when we first got married and before we had kids, it was a struggle to keep God first and not elevate my husband above Him. Now, in this stage of life, it’s sometimes hard to remember I have a husband!
Make sure you don’t “pass out” on your family by having a healthy self-care routine!
I remember a particularly crazy day when my youngest was around two months old: It had been one of those days where I was wearing pretty much every type of bodily fluid imaginable, and had been all day long. The baby was crying even though he’d just been fed, changed, napped and generally fussed over. The toddler was crying because the baby was crying and I wasn’t paying attention to his monster truck stadium. I’d been tracking Tyler’s movements on Find My Friends for the past forty five minutes. When he finally came home, I met him in the driveway. I dumped my son in his arms, directed him toward the toddler, and said, “I need to take a shower.”
When I was in the middle of my blissful shower, Tyler comes into the bathroom with the crying baby and gave me this look like, Are you done yet?
And I just snapped.
“I HAVEN’T TAKEN A SHOWER ALL WEEK!” I said, swallowing a mouthful of shampoo suds. “CAN I JUST GET ONE SECOND TO MYSELF FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!”
My husband stared at me, wide-eyed, and backed out of the bathroom, careful not to step on any more hidden mom-bombs.
Not my finest moment.
Since then, I’ve tried to avoid these kinds of scenarios by communicating with Tyler about my mom-status. Here’s the thing about us moms: sometimes we don’t realize that we need some “me” time until we’re at code level RED. And then it’s mayhem. And not at all Christlike.
So I’m trying to change that. And here’s how:
1. Think about what YOU need to refresh.
We all rejuvenate differently. Some of us are nappers. Others like to go for walks outside. Maybe your ideal is curling up on the couch with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Whatever you need to refresh yourself and get yourself to a place where you can best serve your family, figure that out.
Maybe you feel a little guilty about taking time away from your family to refresh. I get it – but honestly that’s just irrational mom guilt. Let me try to convince you: even God rested. He created the world, and then, He rested (Genesis 2:2-3). He liked that rest so much that He instituted a whole day to rest – the Sabbath. Even Jesus often withdrew to lonely places, away from the crowds, so that He could rest and pray (Luke 5:16). True rest is from God.
One analogy that helps me is this: when you get on an airplane and they’re going through their safety talk, they tell you that if the cabin pressure changes, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. They instruct you to put your mask on first, then assist those next to you. I always thought this was a bit…well, selfish. But then someone told me this: what happens if your child is sitting next to you and you’re trying, but failing, to put their mask on first and then you pass out before you can get either of your masks on – then what?
Here’s the truth: some of us are in danger of “passing out” on our families because we don’t stop to rest. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family.
So, mama, what do you need to do to feel renewed? If you need some ideas, head to this post with a self-care checklist for fighting off the mommy blues.
2. Communicate clearly what you need.
It’s critical to be really clear about what you need from your spouse. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be clear.
Example: “I’ve realized that I need some time to myself to help rejuvenate and rest so that I can be my best for our family. I’d like to discuss how to make that work. Here’s what I’m thinking: I’d like to take two hours to go on a prayer walk by myself and then get coffee at Starbucks and walk around Target by myself. This will help me to blow off some steam and get to a good place to take care of our family. When can we make that happen?”
Make sure you communicate: 1. What you need, 2. Why you need it and 3. How to make it happen.
3. Schedule in advance.
I’ve often found that this is the recipe for all kinds of successes. If you and your spouse have this marked on your calendars each week, it’s more likely to happen.
4. Take advantage of opportunities.
Sometimes, when I have an opportunity to rest, I don’t take it. Often I regret this later. Especially if we have a crazy day/week/event coming up, I’m often convinced in retrospect that it’s good to rest in advance. When the kiddos go down for their naps, take fifteen minutes to just sit and enjoy your cup of coffee. If they’re playing nicely by themselves, instead of rushing off to do the dishes or fold that pile of laundry, take a few moments to stretch and do some deep breathing. It will make a world of difference in navigating this hectic life we have.
So, mamas, what’s your self-care routine after a long week of momming?