Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Having a Disagreement? Walk it Out

Disagreement is inevitable. Oh, when we’re dating we think differently, we think that everything will always be sweetness and light, but the reality is that no two people can live in close proximity without some sort of disagreement. Love covers a multitude of things, but it doesn’t force us to agree with everything that our marriage partner does.

Actually, there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing about something, the wrong comes in the way we deal with that disagreement. When disagreement turns to argument, anger and yelling, there’s a problem; not with the disagreement, but with us.

How we deal with disagreement shows a lot about how much we truly love that other person. If the disagreement causes anger and yelling, then whatever it is that we are disagreeing about is obviously more important to us than the person we are arguing with. Unfortunately, in the midst of those heated discussions, we often say things that we later regret.

The trick is in learning how to handle those disagreements in a way that is healthy for the marriage, instead of being destructive to the marriage. Fighting about them isn’t healthy, nor is avoiding them. What is healthy is discussing them, so that you can come to a point of agreement in how you are going to deal with that issue. Here are a few things you can try when that discussion is getting a little too passionate:
  • Take a five minute break to allow you both to cool off, and then come back to a more reasonable discussion.
  • Both of you write down your point of view, and then read each others. This can give you both the opportunity to think through your position on the issue and hopefully express it more clearly.
  • Agree to take turns expressing your point of view. In this, you don’t say anything until your partner finishes, then they allow you the same courtesy.
  • Take a walk while you discuss it. Most people are too embarrassed to argue in public, so this will help you to maintain your discussion on an even keel.
  • Agree to disagree. Hey, you don’t have to agree on everything. If one of you is Democrat and the other Republican, that’s okay. You don’t have to change the other person’s mind.
  • For those who are Christians, compare both of your points of view to the Bible; let that be the deciding factor for you.

Remember, your goal here isn’t to win, it’s to come to a reasonable understanding that both of you can be comfortable with. That may require some compromise and it may require some changes. Both are essentially healthy for your marriage. True love has no place for selfishness.

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