He makes me laugh, works really hard, is compassionate and understanding. He brightens my day just by walking in a room!
On most days, we can make you sick with all of our mushy newlywed lovey dovey stuff!
...there are those times when he crawls on my last nerve and I start nit picking everything he does.
I'm the one crawling on his last nerve and he starts looking for ways to get away from me.
This usually leads to some sort of disagreement or misunderstanding and the arguing begins!
We argue, loudly.
We tend to be fairly opinionated about everything and will fight to the death for that belief.
We often struggle to concede and let it go
We struggle to admit there is more to it then what we are actually fighting about.
You know, the problem is something totally unrelated to what we are actually arguing about.
Apologies stick in our throats and arguments can go on and on.
We can keep any fight going, regardless of how it is making us feel.
It seems to snowball, rolling downhill quickly.
Conflict resolution is not our strong suit.
Two things tend to happen when we argue (I'm sure you'll be able to relate to this)
1) I am on that phone as soon as possible! Calling my girl friend or my mama because I need to talk (vent) about the argument.
2) He is shutting down! He gives me the cold shoulder and intimacy goes out the door. He becomes a couch potato, only speaking when spoken to.
Suddenly our relationship is suffering in every area: our intimacy, our sex life, our communication, our finances, our home life, our work and so much more.
Everything seems to fall apart around us.
I think I know why that is even though it's really hard to think about, let alone admit!
I think everything is affected because we are out of step with God, His word, and His plan for us.
The question stops being
"WHY is this happening?"
"HOW do we get back to where we should be?"
For me, it comes down to two verses I read this past week and need to probably read over and over again.
The first, Philippians 2:14 (TLB), applies to me probably more so than to my Mr. Right (although he can get pretty grumbly too). This verse tells us that "in everything we do, stay away from complaining and arguing."
Why does this apply to me more than My Mr. Right?
Well, my nit picking (aka complaining) tends to be focused on all of the areas where I feel or believe I am doing it all!
Pretty soon, I'm not only complaining to him that he isn't doing enough, but I am complaining to my friends and family too!
I say things like:
"Oh, no, that's okay, I got it, don't bother to get up and help" (yep, I get passive aggressive)
"You never help with anything!"
"I never get to just get to sit down and do nothing like you do everyday!"
"Why can't he just help me once in awhile?"
"Why can't he see what needs to be done, why do I have to tell him?"
Complain and accuse! Complain and accuse!
Guess where that leads to?
Yep, a big ol' argument!
Now I am out of step with God, His word, and His plan for me in TWO areas. I am complaining AND arguing!
I struggle with going to God first when I have a problem. When I am feeling overwhelmed. When I want to nit pick. When my marriage isn't what I dreamed it would be, what I want it to be.
My first instinct is to call my mama or my friends, tell them all about it and feel validated and vindicated for what I am going through.
I think a portion of my heart knows I am out of God's plan and so I feel like hiding, even though I know I cannot hide from Him.
Thankfully, God forgives us and loves us just where we are.
God offers His grace when my Mr. Right and I are out of step with Him and each other.
There are tons of verses that tell us God forgives and loves us.
But I wanted to know how God feels about arguing and being angry because let's face it, by the time I'm to the nit picking stage, I am angry!
How do I stop being angry? Do I have to be happy all of the time? How does that work?
Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG) tells me "Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life."
Did God's word just tell me I am allowed to be angry?
Why yes! Yes, I believe it did!
BUT...(Wow, that's a Big But)
It also says not to let that anger fuel revenge (the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands) or allow the arguing to go on and on because the devil can use that to wreak havoc in your relationship and your life! Uh oh!
When my Mr. Right and I complain or withdraw, we are fueling revenge out of our hurts.
We are allowing the devil a foot hold when we let the argument go on and on!
This is really hard!
Let's see...hmmm...can I make this easier?
Okay, here is what I think God wants us to do. They are gentle reminders or 7 simple truths:
- Do your best to not complain or withdraw because that leads to arguing
- Being angry is not wrong
- Using hurt feelings and anger is revenge
- Revenge can look like many things, even nit picking or withdrawing
- Look for ways to "end" the argument in the same day it happens
- Ending an argument doesn't mean the issue has to be or is resolved
- Resolution to a conflict can take time but you don't have to be angry or arguing while looking for that resolution
So, whatcha think? Did that make it easier?
Yeah, for me too!
I'm really glad God spoke to me when I was reading these verses because they came, you guessed it, right after an argument!!
I really do believe these 7 truths can improve what our marriage looks like when we are upset and arguing with each other.
I may just print them out and hang 'em on the bathroom mirror!