“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” ~ Max Lucado
Fighting in marriage (or relationships) is a common topic of discussion and it can get a bit discouraging. It seems that everywhere I look there is some one talking about how horrible marriage is or how miserable their spouse makes them feel. I am thankful for the wonderful pockets of encouragement like the happy wives club and other great marriage sites but the fact that “fighting” is such a normal thing still bothers me.
Even on good, encouraging, christian sites I see questions about “what people fight about the most in marriage” and other similar thoughts. All this hype about fights has always made me assume that married people fight frequently, that it’s just a part of the territory.
As you may already know, Alex and I got married after only knowing each other for 35 days. Ours is definitely a unique situation and we had more than a few nay-sayers discouraging us both before and after we got married. At one point someone made a comment that we “wouldn’t really be married (or know what we were doing…can’t remember exact wording) until we’d had our first fight”. Apparently fighting is an essential part of marriage…or is it?
We’ve now been happily married for over 4 years. And I can’t say that we’ve ever had a “fight”. Sure, we disagree about things from time to time. We most certainly do not always see eye to eye and yes we’ve gotten upset and even angry at each other but fight… I can’t say that we’ve ever done that.
If you look up the word in the dictionary it’s all about violence and struggling or warring against one another, one definition specifies the use of weaponry or physical blows. Now, I doubt that most people mean physically hitting one another when they speak of “fighting with their spouse”, but violence can certainly occur in other methods that don’t have to do with physical harm. Hurling unseemly words at one another and so forth. I assume that the latter is more what people mean when they say “fight”. Perhaps, some are merely referring to simple disagreements that are prevalent in all relationships, but if that’s the case I think we should find a more appropriate word.
I went in to marriage expecting a lot of negative things that are not necessary and that haven’t happened. I assumed yelling and fighting was the norm so I was pleasantly shocked to find that we could happily function without it. We can disagree and talk things through instead of screaming at each other or resorting to hitting.
It was a foreign concept to me both because of my mom & step father’s relationship and because of all the off-hand comments that I’d heard about fighting in the marriage relationship.
Fighting doesn’t have to be the norm.
I’m not trying to say that my marriage is any better or worse than any one else’s. We have our issues and shortcomings, believe me! I just want to be a voice that says marriage does not = fighting and marriage is most definitely not miserable!
Sure, marriage is hard. Alex and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn’t mean we hate each other or yell when we disagree. Fighting is not a right of passage to a “real” relationship…
Marriage is not miserable, and it should never be violent.
Marriage is wonderfully hard and fantastically challenging. It’s beautiful. It’s a growing experience and it’s just plain amazing.
When you have disagreements how do you avoid fights in your marriage? I’m planning to put together a list of ways to avoid fights soon, and I just might feature one of your ideas!!!