DISCLAIMER: AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. I GET COMMISSIONS FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH LINKS IN THIS POST.
Marriage is hard and the moment you add kids to the mix it gets harder.
As parents we are constantly going 90 miles an hour it feels like. We have extracurricular activities, meetings, groups, play dates, chores, errands, work, meal planning, laundry, and so much more. All of this leaves us drained and can eventually put a strain on our marriage.
At least that’s the case for us. This past year has been a year of big changes for our family. We moved out of state (again), we have no family living around us like we are used to, and my husband started his own business in our new state. This meant that all the financial income responsibilities fell on his shoulders even more than it already did. This caused him to experience more stress in his day-to-day life than normal and quickly bleed over to our family and our marriage.
Thankfully we were quick to pinpoint the stress and root of our issues but it’s still a struggle sometimes. Especially now that winter is here, and jobs are smaller and more spread out than is comfortable. The amazing thing is that the phone is still ringing, jobs are still coming in, and we are still eating. So, praise Jesus on that one!
Anyway, back to our marriage. So, you can see why this season has caused some conflict in our marriage. Through our arguments and frustrations, we have learned how to better deal with this season and each other moving forward.
Is it easy? Not all the time.
Are you perfect at it? Not even close.
(Honesty Moment!! My fuse is short and calm is not my middle name. This is not a good combo when trying to handle conflict in a productive way, but I’m trying.)
Is it worth it? Most defiantly!
Your marriage is worth fighting for even in the moments you can’t seem to bare the site of your spouse or you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. So, if you can learn ways to help heal conflict and grow together you can avoid small issues festering into larger ones in the future. This is what we are walking through and how we are approaching healing.
Step 1: Admit You’re Wrong
Ouch. I know, that one stung didn’t it? It’s hard for us as humans to admit when we’re wrong. For some this is near impossible to do. We plant ourselves firmly on that hill and come hell or high water we are dying on that hill before we admit we were or could be wrong. When you can open your mind to see the other persons point of view and admit that you may have been wrong in some way, you are taking the 1st step to conflict resolution. Admitting you’re wrong doesn’t always mean something big or that your point of view is wrong. It can be as small as how you responded to something or handled a situation.
Step 2: Put the Other Person First
When you’re struggling with a season of conflict or stress, putting your spouse 1st can be harder than running a marathon in the snow, uphill, and barefoot. The magic thing is that when both of you are putting the other person first you tend to see where the other person is coming from easier and you have less conflict. An easy way you can put your spouse first is by learning their love language and doing things that feed that. For example, my husband’s love language is physical touch so I will purpose to touch him, hug him, hold his hand, and cuddle as often as I can. My love langue is acts of service so he will do the dishes, clean the house, pick up after kids for me or cross off something on my to do list. To find out yours and yours and your spouses love language take the quiz here.
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Another way to put someone else first is by showing them love in small ways. A great set of books my husband and I are currently working through together is the set ‘100 Ways to Love Your Husband’ & ‘100 Ways to Love Your Wife”. These books are great at giving you small, easy implement, and effective ways to show your spouse some love. Each day you can just read 1 page and it will take you under 1 minute. Totally worth it and not hard to squeeze it into your day.
Step 3: Compromise
Some conflicts won’t end with a magical resolution and you will both have to compromise. If you are in a disagreement for a lengthy bit of time you will need to both agree to come to some kind of compromise. Hopefully after implementing step 1 and 2 this step will come easier or can be avoided all together.
For a few years my husband and I didn’t see eye to eye on our kids Trick-or-Treating. I was ok with it and he wasn’t. He didn’t Trick-or-Treat growing up and I respected his point of view, but I also voiced to him that I didn’t think it was a bad thing if our kids participated. Our kids, especially our oldest, knew that daddy and I didn’t see eye to eye on Halloween, but what they did get to see was that I compromised and respected their father and didn’t undermine his authority to our kids. After a few years of him standing firm but asking me more and more my opinion he came to decide that trick or treating was something he was ok with our kids participating in.
Even though we didn’t agree for years, I compromised and respected him through it. Compromise isn’t always easy, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Having seasons of struggle in your marriage can be a tough spot to be in. Hopefully these 3 steps will help you learn how to navigate these struggles with less conflict and more peace.