How to Have a Good Fight

Helpful words on how to have a good fight with your spouse at the Young Married Life Blog:

If you're not engaging in conflict [with your spouse], I'd be surprised, and possibly concerned. Marriage is the blending of two lives together. Undoubtably, you have different views and opinions on a variety of issues related to how to live life. Don't be afraid to wrestle those through.

One thing that makes fighting confusing, and even scary, is that often we don't know what we are fighting about. What started as a silly argument about whether or not to go out to eat can quickly turn into a knock-down, drag out brawl. The first and often most difficult step to a good fight is to define what you are fighting about. There are three types of conflicts in marriage:

    1. External (we disagree about what kind of toothpaste to buy) 2. Relational (you hurt my feelings) 3. Dynamic (there is something not working in our relationship).

Very often, when it seems like you're fighting about an external conflict, you are really fighting about a relational or dynamic issue that you can't identify or about which you feel too vulnerable to bring up. So, the toothpaste argument might really be about not wanting to feel controlled by your spouse. Or the fight about where to spend Thanksgiving is more about wanting your husband or wife to chose you over their family of origin.

Don't be afraid of a good fight. It can simply be sparks flying as iron sharpens iron. But be careful to define the conflict. If you don't know what you're really fighting about, you can't resolve it.