A Counselor at a Marriage Conference- Lesson 12


So the moral of the story behind this quote is if you are going to FIGHT, fight to win, not to hurt each other. Most people would agree that a little conflict is a good thing because it means you are being honest. Disagreements are healthy. Discussions are necessary. Continuing to calmly communicate in order to solve a problem… these are all important in any relationship and definitely important in marriage. The key aspect is you want to win your partner, not the discussion. You want to get a lasting healthy marriage, not your way.

We recently had a sit down talk about the dishes. We missed small group that night. Our communication was out of whack, I was harboring bitterness and I felt like it needed to be ironed out. Eric’s take on it was- you want your way, what is there to talk about? This was trying for me, as I am often quick to “turn off” if I am not feeling heard and dismiss the discussion if it does not seem to be going in a positive (a*hem, my) direction. I pulled from my counseling bag of tricks and utilized active listening skills:

  1. What I hear you saying is…
  2. I feel…
  3. My expectations include…
  4. What do you think?

Because we need to express those expectations early and often. If only to compare them- mine with his. It ended well, but it wasn’t a smooth ride. And that’s just the dishes! If you are having difficulty “Fighting Fair” or fighting with an ending that feels like a win for the marriage, definitely seek out marital counseling- either as a couple or as an individual. Practicing expressing yourself with someone licensed to listen and help you clarify can only help the communication in your marriage. Embrace it!

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