Are disagreements between you and your spouse derailing your marriage? If so, there’s good news—they don’t have to! In fact, when handled properly, disagreements can actually make your marriage stronger. When you learn how to disagree well, you are building a foundation in your marriage, a foundation that says, “We can do hard things.”
When you learn that your marriage can handle hard things it removes a lot of fear of the future. You won’t need to sweep anything under the rug, nor do you have to walk on eggshells for your spouse. Handling conflict well opens the door to deeper and more authentic communication. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?
3 Simple Ways to Deal with Disagreements
Whenever a disagreement begins, step one is to use your ears instead of your mouth. God did give you two ears and one mouth for a reason; listening is important. James 1:19 says “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” There’s an order inside that verse, listen quickly, not after you’ve stated your own case first, be slow to speak, which means you have to pause and think about how you will respond, and then, be slow to anger. That third part is basically a biproduct of putting the other two in their proper place.
All too often in marriage we get that verse all out of order and usually leave one out. We state our case, get angry and then tend to not even listen to our spouse’s side. This way doesn’t work.
realize it or not, in most of your disagreements you have a common goal. You just might have different ways of going about it. For instance, you may disagree on how to discipline your kids, but I bet you both share the common goal of having well behaved children. So, the next time you get into a disagreement pause and ask the question, “What is the goal we each want?”
Lastly, now that you’re mastering those listening skills, ask your spouse this question to understand them even more, “What is your win here?” When you ask this question, it will take the defensiveness right out of your spouse and let them know you’re on their side.
Learning to have disagreements well will indeed grow you closer and leave you more connected.