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.Proverbs 19:11
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.