Are you doing everything you can to avoid conflict in your marriage? Do you avoid the sticky topics, swallow your own desires and ignore your spouse’s failings? When you feel a conflict coming do you do everything possible to get out of the way?
At the root of every failing marriage is conflict, so we should do everything to avoid it. Right?
A few months ago, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III signed his contract with the Redskins. When RG3 inked that $21.1 million contract he made sure that he was going to be taken care of. What is not included is a “please don’t hurt me” clause.
Being hurt is part of the game of football. If you play you are going to be hurt. What RG3 was looking for in his contract was not protection from being hurt. He wanted to make sure that when the hurt came he would be taken care of. He knew his new team had top-notch doctors, physical therapists and trainers to help him through the pain.
Is marriage any different?
We would like to avoid all conflict, to avoid all pain but that just isn’t a reality. Hurt and conflict are going to happen. And guess what we should be glad when they do!
No, I’m not crazy. No, I don’t love pain. I hate it just like everyone else, when I’m going through it. Yet, as I look back on the times my marriage has grown the most, they all happen just after some rather enormous conflict or pain.
After seeing this happen several times I started to recognize that conflict, trials, challenges and even pain are all parts of the necessary ingredients to create intimacy.
Avoiding conflict will only rob you of a chance for more intimacy in your marriage. As you work through the conflict you will discover a new oneness that you may have never known was even possible.
4 Ways To Have Real Conflict In Your Marriage!
1. Say the Hard Things
There are topics in every marriage that can easily spark arguments. It doesn’t take long before we start to avoid those topics all together. That might work fine if the topic is who the better NASCAR driver is, but if the touchy subject is sex, finances, or time avoidance doesn’t work. You have to have the hard conversations in order for marriage to work. Don’t avoid them, plan for them and work through them.
If you seem to keep slipping into the old habit of avoiding then schedule a regular time to discuss that topic no matter what. Plan an hour once a month to talk about finances then stick to the plan together.
2. Avoid Begging
Begging is another form of conflict avoidance. This is easily evident when a husband begs his wife for sex. Rather than talking about the real root of the ongoing issue he is pleading for sex for tonight.
Men, be honest we only beg because we don’t really want to hear the part of the issue that is our own. We want the blame to land squarely on our wife. If you actually talked about real changes, you might have to hear some of the stuff you need to work on too!
3. Face it Together
When conflict gets past arguments and actually hits emotions most men sound the retreat. I have been there too. When anger gives way to anguish all I want to do is escape. Retreat just don’t retreat alone. Retreat together. In order for the most intimacy to come out of challenge you must share all of it together.
4. Remember the Equation
Conflict = Intimacy. Don’t allow the conflict to end in anger. Push through it to the other side. In the middle of the conflict it will seem like the darkness will never end. Keep going. Keep pushing together. Don’t look for doors to escape the conflict, look for solutions together. Eventually all that heat of conflict will turn into the heat of intimacy, reigniting your marriage to a totally new level of togetherness.
Have you experienced this equation in your marriage? Tell us about it!
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