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Both Lose If One Wins

Posted on December 6, 2007

In marriage there is some conflict. It all boils down to this: how happy you are as a couple largely depends on how you handle conflict. In a marital scrap, if one wins the quarrel, and the other loses it, then in reality both lose. 

In working through a disagreement, both have to feel good about the outcome, or resentments will start to fester over time.   Resentments will deepen into bitterness.  The bitterness then will seep out into the relationship in all sorts of hidden ways.

One of those hidden ways for me was back when my bonus sons (i.e. step sons) were teens.  I occasionally took  some of my resentment toward their mother out on them over a specific issue between her and me.  When my wife and I finally resolved the issue via Christian counseling, my treatment of my sons dramatically improved. 

Through those days, I learned God makes one thing explicitly clear to us guys.  We are never ever to be harsh with our women (Colossians 3:19).  We are to treat them as the more fragile gender if we want God to answer our own prayers (1 Peter 3:7).  So, I ask, do you really want your prayers answered???

This non-harsh, treat-em-as-more-fragile approach, however, doesn't mean never to confront.   In fact, humble, respectful confrontation is healthy to a relationship.  Sometimes, when an injustice, or even a perceived injustice, exists, we need to clean up lines of communications through confrontation.  If we address one issue specifically without bluster and anger, or dragging in stuff from the past, there will be the favor of the Lord on the outcome.  God guarantees it (Hebrew 11:6 and Psalm 119:2) for men who win.

Read my blog Secret Codes between my Wife and Me for how we're able to keep tensions low and spirits high between us.

Hear my eight minute radio show download, Marital Sucess Depends on How You Argue.

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