Ugghh… We got into a really bad fight the other night. There was yelling, and hurtful words, and crying, and I hated it. Only, the fight I had was with a close relative – not my husband.
Is it just me, or is it a universal fact that those we love most, those that are the very closest to us, know better than anyone just what to say to really crush us? It’s awful. C.S. Lewis said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” I want the love without the brokenness. I want peace more than strife.
This fight reminded me that as much as I try my best to communicate for understanding, as much as I hope to give people the benefit of the doubt, there is still a fire burning inside of me. If I feel like I am being backed into a corner, my natural reaction is to attack rather than retreat. I am thanking God right now that my husband is not typically on the receiving end of my ferocious temper. I haven’t gone toe-to-toe with anyone like that in years! I was actually surprised, as much as I was disappointed, that I was unable to control my tone and my words the way I wanted to.
In our marriage, Tony and I have a “No Yelling” rule. Do you have fighting rules in your marriage? Our “No Yelling” rule is not about trying to control one another or any kind of strict obedience. It exists because at one time we did yell at each other and we later agreed that we really didn’t like it. The rule exists also because, if I’m honest, I need this boundary to be firm in order for me to treat my husband the way I want to treat him and not just the way I might feel like treating him in a heated moment.
For today, mainly for my own sake, I thought we could spend some time reviewing the Rules for Fair Fighting. Fighting and arguing are not necessarily bad for your marriage, or any other relationship. However, if we can remember the difference between a fair fight and a dirty one, I think we will all be better off. Here they are… (Hint: Pin this image so you can come back to it later.)
In the fight I just had, I only broke rules 2 through 7… which means I have at least six ways to figure out how to apologize and make amends and you know how much I hate apologizing.
Wish me luck! Oh, and #staymarried.
P.S. If you liked this post, you may also like to read Repair Attempts. If you think these could benefit someone else’s marriage, please consider sharing.
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