Marriage Fighting Fair

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Fighting-VintageHomeschoolMoms.comMarriage Fighting Fair

with Felice Gerwitz

Show Notes

How can polar opposites still be married after 36 years of marriage? A snapshot of my marriage.

  • He likes the outdoors – I like to view the outdoors while comfortably sitting indoors
  • I like to read – he likes cliff notes or to tell him what the story is about
  • I love cooking – he loves eating
  • I dislike cleaning – he loves a neat home
  • I am creative – he is a facts kinda guy
  • I am not a perfectionist – he is
  • I love to communicate everything that is on my mind – him, not so much

Fighting Fair in Marriage: Our disagreements ranged from:

  • Child rearing – I’m strict he is permissive
  • Pets – I’m a no pet is allowed – he is the more the merrier
  • Kids – I was happy with two – he wanted ten
  • Place to live – where and when we would build
  • He wants to be together 24/7 – I like a little break to read

Reasons our marriage has lasted?

Because of our faith in GOD and the idea that marriage is sacred. It is a sacramental union and one that we entered into willing – with full knowledge and have an “until death do us part mentality about it. Marriage for us is not an option.

Faith is what binds us – it is what makes us attempt to make it work.  Marriage is work – I don’t care if you’ve been married for one week or fifty years – it is a decision each day to care and love the other spouse even if we don’t want to.

During my first year of marriage I was ill equipped to handle a full time relationship. I had graduated from college – lived in a dorm – attained all kinds of social status – president, academic awards, etc. and I went on to teach. Sadly I was a hot-head to say the least, I knew what buttons to push, I would often cry, and if I didn’t get my way, threaten divorce. My husband said something that was very wise – and very possibly Divine intervention – he said, first I need to get my emotions under control before he would talk to me and secondly that if I threatened divorce again I better mean it because he would follow through if I didn’t.

That was very bold of him.

Isaiah 61:3

“…and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

The trouble with fighting within marriage

  1. The reason people fight is never the REAL reason why … there is often a root cause of the discontent
    1. We are all broken
    2. We all have a past
    3. We all have been hurt by someone close to us
    4. We all are nothing without GOD
  1. Reasons are just that … substantiation for how you feel… think about it.
    1. He/ she doesn’t care
    2. I can’t do anything right – he/she is so critical
    3. I don’t get appreciation for all I do
    4. We are polar opposites on the things that really matter
  2. Giving Up
    1. Close off the other spouse – can ‘t hurt anymore if you don’t care
    2. Deciding it is better not to communicate because you want to keep from fighting
    3. He/she doesn’t listen anyway
  3. What I want – Me – Mine
    1. He/she doesn’t care about me
    2. I am tired of being stepped on
    3. I am the one always giving – doing – etc. and I’m tired of it
  4. Not fair:
    1. Everyone else has a vacation, lives in a house, drives a car etc.
    2. I make all the sacrifices

Mark 10:9 : “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Jesus’ Teaching about Divorce “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…

So how do you fight fair in marriage? Set ground rules:

  • Address the issue not the person – NO character assassination
  • Keep your voice even – no yelling or screaming
  • No character assassination
  • No blaming – it is all your fault
  • Address one topic at a time – don’t regress into the past
  • Don’t argue in front of the children
  • Don’t argue when there is not time to address the issue fully – when you or your spouse is walking out of the door for work/ meeting/ playtime w/ kids, etc.
  • Ask to be sure you understand the cause of the disagreement
  • Intense emotions – take a break until you can talk calmly
  • No threatening divorce
  • No violence – on either part

The ROOT of the issue

  1. Why are your arguing – what is the root cause
    1. Money
    2. Control
    3. Insecurities – hurt, neglected, feeling of rejection
    4. Scared
    5. Health – mental illness
  2. Analyze yourself:
    1. Do you remain calm?
    2. Do you often blame your spouse?
    3. Do you lose your temper?
    4. Do you listen?
    5. What triggers do you use to get your spouse upset?
    6. DO you close yourself off?
    7. Do you need to apologize
    8. Do you tend to say hurtful things?
    9. Are you ill?
    10. Are you worried about being left?
    11. Do you always want to win?
    12. Do you communicate well? Too little?
    13. Do you have to have the last word?
  3. Analyze your spouse: You are not dwelling on what he/she does wrong – you are analyzing ways to defuse the argument or communicate more effectively – this exercise is not to work you up even more and get angrier…
  1. Why are they angry – not what you think – ask
  2. Is there a misunderstanding?
  3. Do you understand where your spouse is coming from – his/her past?
  4. Does your spouse always want to win?
  5. Does your spouse communicate well? Too little?
  6. Does your spouse close him/herself off?

Get back to the basics:

  • Compromise is essential – sometimes there isn’t always one right
  • Complement each other – say, I love you
  • Learn to talk respectfully – Value the other person’s opinion
  • It’s okay to agree to disagree – and be okay with it
  • Apologize
  • Take a time out – brief.
  • Stick to the topic – this isn’t the time to bring everything else in
  • State the issue honestly and as clearly as you can – if you are emotional, try to get a grip if possible
  • Learn from mistakes – grow and change




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