Something that’s far too familiar in most (if not ALL) relationships – whether big or small. It’s inevitable and the only way that you can learn to grow as a couple is have these little trials & tribulations and learn to conquer them together.  When God is the centre of your marriage (and family), you can rest assured that there will always be a solution to your problems.  One great site that I subscribe to and receive timely and enlightening articles from is Family Life. Below is the article that caught my attention today especially because my hubby and I had a pretty intense argument today when he got home from work. I really abhor our fights, but what I detest more is when we go to sleep angry.  That’s one thing that we’re really trying to work on. We’re both very strong-headed individuals with fervent opinions not to mention melodramatic, so you can imagine how many times we argue.
It’s healthy. It’s normal. It’s part of any relationship. Especially when you love that person dearly.

One thing I love that was in the article that I read was this: “The presence of conflict in your marriage is not a condemnation. It simply means that you have dreams—that you are human beings and that there are things you long for, things you truly believe in.”

We need to make a distinction between a “good argument” and a “bad argument”—since not all conflict is healthy. The good news is that there are signs that can help you and your spouse/partner figure out if conflict is benefiting your relationship or hurting it. 

Let’s look at what distinguishes a healthy conflict from an unhealthy one. 

Characteristics of a healthy argument
A healthy conflict:

1. Clears the air and brings important issues out into the open;
2. Informs you about what is important to your spouse/partner;
3. Informs you about what isn’t working for your spouse/partner;
4. Gives direction to any changes that maybe needed;
5. Doesn’t deteriorate into name-calling and hostilities, even when emotions run high.

Characteristics of an unhealthy argument
An unhealthy conflict:

1. Shuts down communication;
2. Doesn’t lead to any insight into each other’s needs/viewpoints;
3. Consists of hostile verbal attacks (a total lack of respect for each other in the moment);
4. Causes emotional wounding and defensiveness (and little else);
5. Keeps the status quo of the relationship and prevents growth.

The reality is that couples will have both healthy and unhealthy arguments during their relationship. To help you determine if an argument is healthy (useful to the growth of the relationship), you and your spouse/partner can engage in a post-conflict analysis. You’ll need to let time pass to allow the ambers of heated emotions cool before this analysis occurs.

Any post-conflict analysis should start with a recognition that you love and care about each other. Never minimize your positive feelings toward each other. Then ask yourself the following:

~What was accomplished by this most recent conflict?
~What did I learn about myself?
~What did I learn about my spouse/partner?
~How can I use this information to strengthen our relationship?

The answers to these questions can help you shape and strengthen your marriage or relationship.
Sometimes our biggest conflicts come when both spouses are right.

Read the article here

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