I want you to think about your biggest misconception of what you thought marriage would be like. I know exactly what mine was.
I thought my husband and I could somehow make the honeymoon period last forever and have a conflict-free marriage. Extremely far-fetched, but as humans, we sometimes live according to our ideals rather than face reality.
The harsh truth is that marriage will never be devoid of conflict. Conflict is inevitable, but it is how we deal with those situations that make the difference.
Conflict is inevitable, but it is how we deal with those situations that make the difference.
When my emotions were hurt or my pride was wounded, I would go from one extreme to the other: giving my husband a “piece of my mind” or succumb to the silent treatment. I could fool myself into thinking that my silence was an exhibition of my ‘taking the higher ground’, when it was just another means of retreating to fantasize about all the ways that I could give him a piece of my mind.
My goal was always to try and win the argument and prove that my way was right. Even when I was wrong, I wanted to be ‘more right’ that he was. It took me a while to realize that this not healthy for my marriage and if there is one thing God has taught me, it is that conflict does not always have to end up in an argument or pent-up anger.
It is not healthy to bottle up our feelings or suppress them; neither is it healthy to say everything we are feeling and cause deliberate hurt. The next time we think of giving a partner a piece of our minds, think of it like a piece of cake:
- Everybody loves a good slice of cake, a sweet piece of goodness that melts in your mouth and can leave you in a serene state of mind. One or two slices will do just fine, but eating the whole thing can do damage. In the same way, it is beneficial to take a moment and filter how much you choose to say in the heat of the moment.
- Also, ask yourself which piece are you handing out—that piece that’s been left sitting for so long that it’s gone stale and so old that when we speak it comes out foul and bitter?
Bringing together two different people from different homes, backgrounds, and upbringings means you will clash at some point, but don’t let it leave lasting negative impacts on your marriage. Choosing to handle our conflict in pride and arrogance can be the difference between a peaceful household and a lifetime of emotional injury.
When you’re in the midst of that disagreement of argument remember God’s word, which says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1. Think about what you want to say and make sure it’s the best possible ‘piece of your mind’.