Rules of War in Marriage
Recently, I was asked if I thought that arguing in marriage was a bad thing. I think that when “Rules of War” are established and followed, then arguing can bring what is lurking under the surface into the light, therefore allowing the couple to move to a greater state of intimacy. Have you and your spouse set up your “Rules of War” yet? If not, here are some suggestions.
1. No name calling. Any sentence that starts with “You are such a …” is not okay. Those words that so easily fly out of your mouth in moments of anger leave lasting and painful impressions.
2. Never, never, never lay a finger on each other in a fit of anger. Never. No type of physical aggression is ever okay.
3. Don’t bring up the past. The past is exactly the past. No need for it in a current disagreement. If you have worked through past issues, said, “I am sorry” and “I forgive you”, then let it stay in the past. Don’t keep rehashing the same issues.
4. Eliminate absolute statements from your speech. "You always” and “you never” statements are always hurtful and never helpful.
5. “When you ________, it makes me feel __________” are the best statements. It allows your partner to understand your perspective and see how their words and/or actions are impacting you.
In life, be quick to forgive. Forgiveness gives the forgiver freedom, not only the forgiven. Keep short lists of wrongs. Don’t be afraid to disagree, argue, or fight in relationships. Moving through that uncomfortable stuff gets us to the point of being able to love and trust with abandon.