Blog Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
Ever come away from an argument with your spouse and wondered, “What was that all about”? Or, “Why am I so confused?” Or, “Now that we’ve argued and made it clear that we’re angry, did anything get settled?”Do you know the signs of a constructive fight with your spouse? Here are 3 for you to consider: Click To Tweet
Here are 3 signs to know if your conflict was handled in a healthy way:
- Each of you attacked the issue and not each other. Remember, your spouse is your teammate. No personal cheap shots allowed. Attacking your teammate is counterproductive to the team. Sharing your anger is one thing, but keep it focused on the issue.
Did you attack your mate in your last conflict? Perhaps an apology is in order. No such attacks? That’s a good sign!
- You both sought to understand each other and worked toward a solution. There was a willingness, even an eagerness present to resolve your differences. A genuine spirit existed in both of you to deal with this barrier keeping you two from being on the same page.
Note: All of these signs tie together. For instance, if you cool down before talking, then you’ll be less likely to attack each other. And not attacking will give you the attitude of wanting to solve what’s going on.
- A clear resolution was agreed upon. Healthy conflict needs to have clarity in it to be healthy. Confusion invites the conflict to linger in at least one of the spouse’s mind.
A couple recently told Selma and me that as a conflict between them winds down, they ask each other, “Is there anything else you’re holding onto about this issue?” Excellent! Brilliant! This is a couple seeking to be absolutely clear about completely putting a conflict issue to bed!
I am not a fan of conflict. At all. But I’ve been married long enough (and been in the ministry long enough) to know of its benefits. Love your spouse, even through – especially through – the conflicts and watch Romans 8:28 kick in, making you two closer than before the argument.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28