It seems as though I’m dealing a lot with Husband and Wife issues these last couple of days… As a leader, I have the privilege of being trusted enough to discuss issues that come up in life. One thing I have come to understand is that EVERY couple will have times when they disagree on things.. It may be the way that one parent disciplines, the way that one schedules or doesn’t schedule their time. It may be as simple as how one folds the towels the wrong way… Whatever the situation is, you WILL have
disagreements… “marriage building moments”
Boxers, MMA Fighters, and even playground bullies have rules…
If we’re GOING TO “fight”, let’s take a moment to set some ground rules!!
The 10 Rules for Fighting Fair
1. Silence is a relationship killer…you need to FIGHT
Studies show that couples who fight have a stronger relationship and marriage. An old axiom says, “The dirtiest fighter is the one who refuses to fight at all.” Someone who doesn’t want to rock the boat, and skirts the issues to avoid conflict, ultimately damages the relationship. Fighting can actually get us through a conflict to a level of greater intimacy. So, Fight for your relationship…it’s the best thing you can do.
2. Fight Fairly
Remember that you are trying to grow together. Often we learned unhealthy or unfair ways of fighting from parents or from our culture. These make winning at any cost the most important goal. If one spouse wins…both lose.
3. No Name Calling
Calling a spouse a name such as “stupid” simply backs that person away from a fight. Do not call each other names except the affectionate ones you normally use, such as “Honey” or “Dear.”
4. Do Not Involve Other People
The argument is between the two of you. Young couples make the mistake of involving friends or parents (usually mothers). The damage comes later in several forms; 1) A parent will more than likely remember the issue long after a couple has forgotten. 2) The respect and perception once held by a parent for a childs spouse will decline. 3) A couple may feel uncomfortable facing the parent even after an incident has been resolved. 4) A parents natural reaction is to protect a child and this reaction may cause further damage to the relationship.
5. No Past History
If it’s already been settled, don’t bring it up again. It is irrelevant and merely a way to smear your partner. It is OK to go back to learn, but not to get something on your spouse. My wife and I “Try” to use the 24hr. rule… If its been 24hrs. or more, it’s off limits…
6. Stick to the Subject
Stay focused. Find the issue and don’t bring in other issues just to prove your point. When he comes home later and she feels taken for granted or unloved, deal with feelings to make the real issue apparent.
7. Don’t Hit Below the Belt
Don’t throw your partners weaknesses in his or her face. You may win the argument but lose more than you gain. On the other hand, don’t be too sensitive to what your spouse says.
8. Don’t Go to Bed Angry
Finish the Fight. Dragging a fight out is as life-draining as avoiding a fight. Unresolved anger can destroy intimacy.
9. Maintain a Sense of Humor
Laughter is sometimes the best medicine. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourselves, but don’t laugh at or make fun of your spouse.
10. Hold Hands and/or Look in Each Others Eyes.
Being in contact with each other, rather than turning your backs, is the hardest rule. However, it takes the focus from the issue and places it where it belongs, namely on the most important person in your life.
In no particular order, here are ten things that many husbands want from their wives.
Note that these are “wants” — not emotional needs. As individuals, we are each responsible for filling our own emotional needs.
We believe that the four basic emotional needs are the need to be loved and to love; the need to belong; the need for a good self-image; and the need for autonomy. (independence)
1. Believe in His Capabilities
Many men believe it is important for them to protect and provide for those they love. Let him know that you believe in his talents and skills and are supportive of him.
One of the ways you can both tell and show your husband that you want to understand him is by making a commitment to daily dialogue with him. Daily dialogue only takes 20 minutes out of your day. Isn’t your husband worth 20 minutes each day?
3. Affirmation of His Accomplishments
Most guys like to be patted on the back. Compliment your husband often. Just don’t over do it with sickly sweet oozes of how great he is. That type of affirmation will backfire.
Many husbands are hurt and angered when their wives try to change them. Realize that the only person that you can change is yourself.
5. Less Chatter
If your husband is tired, or involved with a project, and you really want to talk to him about something, get to the point. If he wants the details of the topic, he will ask for them.
Hold your husband’s hand in public, leave a message of love on his voice mail, massage his shoulders, give him an unexpected kiss. Men like to be romanced too!
Show respect for your husband by not making negative comments about his thoughts and opinions, by being considerate of his plans, and by avoiding the “eye roll” when listening to him.
8. Free Time
Most everyone has a desire for some quiet time alone, and time to re-energize, regroup, and reconnect. When your husband first gets home from work, allow him some free time to unwind. Don’t over-schedule his days off with projects around the house.
Trust is vital in the success of a marriage. If you are having doubts about your husband and find it difficult to trust him, seek counseling and not spying.
10. To Be a Companion
Hopefully, you can say that your husband is not only your lover, but also your friend. Staying friends and companions through the years requires that you find ways to make time together and to do things together.