We all have them. They are a regular part of our daily lives. They can be particularly prevalent within a marriage. We spend so much time with our spouse, it makes sense that we disagree about things from time to time, doesn’t it? Well here are some sure fire tips and tricks to help give you the edge in your next fight.
Tips and Tricks
- The eye roll. Nothing conveys the idea that you think what your spouse just said is stupid quite like the eye roll. Be sure to employ it in abundance when you want to demean your spouses argument. See also: smirk.
- The silent treatment. Simply decline to respond to your spouse’s latest point. This can quickly drive them crazy, and give you the upper hand. Interrupting them and not letting them finish is also effective.
- The refusal. At no time should you concede any point. NEVER let your spouse know when they make a valid point. Even if halfway through the fight you realize that they are right and you are wrong, DO NOT admit it. This is a sign of weakness that you will not be able to recover from.
I hope it is obvious that the above advice is given with a heavy dose of sarcasm, and really shouldn’t be taken seriously. The sad truth is that many of us utilize this manner of argument within our marriage all the time. But this is aggressive, antagonistic, and certainly not the Biblical way to handle disagreements!
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
We should make a conscious effort to reply softly and keep our anger in check, as the verse states above. Rather than intentionally riling up our spouse, we should do our best to keep our arguments calm, quiet, and rational.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. ~ James 1:19-20
This verse is telling us to listen more than we speak. I think we can apply this by giving serious consideration to our spouse’s side of the argument. We should not be so sold on our own opinion that we cannot even consider alternatives. Rather, we should be willing to change our opinion if the situation warrants it.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. ~ Romans 14:19
Above all, we should always go into an argument with the intent to come out the other side with peaceful resolution and appreciation of our spouse. Fighting for the sake of fighting, arguing to win, and disagreeing in such a way that causes pain and suffering due to cruel words or demeaning actions, are all sinful responses to strife. The goal should be to end up on the same page, or at least amicably agreeing to disagree.
An effective way to argue Biblically is to follow the Ephesians model of marriage. Wives, submit to your husbands; and husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Employing this model during disagreements can really help to diffuse tension and cause closeness rather than hurt feelings. Now to clarify: Wives, I am NOT saying to stay quiet and keep from voicing your opinions. You are an equal part of the marriage relationship, and can often provide sage advice and insight that is valuable to the discussion. And husbands, I AM saying to love as Christ loved, which is sacrificially. This means to consider your wife’s well-being over your own, and to make decisions in that light.