Do you fight fair or do you fight to win in your marriage?
We’re pretty much trained from the very beginning of life to fight with the goal to win. Sadly, unless a couple has great premarital counseling, they may not learn that fights in marriage must be approached very differently than fights in a boxing ring!
Fighting in a marriage is a sad reality. It’s not very realistic to think it won’t happen at all in the course of your relationship. It will. But there’s no reason for you and your spouse to miss the opportunity to get the most out of your disagreements. And you can get the most out of them just by tweaking your view of the desired end result.
Starting today, strike the words, “fight to win” out of your vocabulary when thinking about marriage. When there’s a winner in a fight, there must be a loser, too. And that is completely contradictory to what any loving couple wants to see happen in their relationship. You are a unit … when you win, your spouse wins and vice versa.
When you view your disagreements as opportunities to understand, you’re far less likely to consider them a win/lose situation. The next time you and your spouse head down the road to a fight, make the decision that you have no intention of fighting to win. Instead, make the decision to fight to BEGIN to understand. Ask questions. Listen intently to the answers. And when your spouse makes a good point, or even one that you’ve simply not thought of before, be brave and say so! The words, “You make a good point” are disarming and may actually help to tear a wall or two down.
Fighting to begin to understand is an admirable approach to a disagreement. Make it your end goal to understand your mate’s point of view. You may still disagree, but you’ve listened, understood and validated the good points your spouse has made in the process.