Married couples who learn to work and resolve conflict tend to be closer, more trusting, more intimate and enjoy a deeper connection afterward. I've learned that if you joke around or poke fun a little while in conflict...it eases the tension and you end up laughing about it later and the conflict gets resolved much faster. Although Stephen and I aren't married yet we've dealt with some major conflicts or "tiffs" is what we like to call them. These past two months have been quite hard for us but I'm glad we know how to fight now rather than later. I've also read somewhere that couples who have worked through/experienced conflict before marriage had more successful marriages in the long run ( opposed to couples who never argued before marriage but once in marriage fought like a pair of gerbils. ) I have no idea where I got that analogy. haha
Anyways, Stephen and I do a couples devotional about marriage and last weeks devotion hit home for us...considering all the tiffs we'd been having. Every couple should have a set of boundaries not to cross when arguing. This way...when you approach a hot topic you won't go over bounds when the conflict really heats up. Stephen and I have done and said some really hurtful and stupid things in the heat of an argument. Remember his letter to me in To Danica From Stephen? That letter was the outcome of a conflict that went way to far...to the point where I said I can't be with you anymore. It lasted for a few hours but still!!! It was the biggest scare of my life. I can't believe I was about to throw my whole life away because emotions were high and I couldn't process correctly what was happening and we both flew off the handle. I'm just glad we are okay now but back on topic.....I was trying to say... have boundaries! Have a set of rules for yourself when you and your man fight. Here are some we came up with:
1. We will not bring up old, unrelated things from the past.
2. We will never fight in public or in front of other people. ( Or in front of our kids if and when we have them. )
3. We will never mention canceling engagement or divorce.
4. We will always focus on Christ. He is the reason we came together in the first place.
5. We will never touch one another out of anger.
6. Never go to bed angry.
7. No name calling.
Here are some good examples of keeping these boundaries:
James 1:19 "Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger."
Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"
Proverbs 15:1 " A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
What's also helping us have less and more affective tiffs is we are keeping our spiritual lives in tact again. He is actually having quiet time without me pushing him to and I have overcome some major battles with insecurity. We are both growing and I think we are most definitely ready to get engaged soon. Let's keep our fingers crossed ladies!