I’ve often had other women compliment me on how amazing and happy my marriage looks, and more than once I’ve had to say, “Girlfriend you haven’t seen what goes on behind closed doors!” LOL
Our perception of ones marriage is often shaped by what is portrayed through social media, Hollywood, or outward appearance. At times we allow ourselves to compare our marriage to that of another so as to measure how well we’re doing. Can I shed some light on this and say – marriage is not a competition but a journey that is unique to you and your spouse.
I reflect on our journey of marriage and marvel at how we’ve managed to stay together lol but don’t be fooled I tell you! Yes we make a great team, yes we do look happy (sometimes haha) but oh my life it has taken ALOT of work to get to where we are, and it still is a lot of ongoing work. Something that has shaped and sharpened my marriage is a lovely thing called ‘arguments’. Arguments in a marriage are more often than not depicted as a negative thing however I want to shine positivity on this important function so as to empower others to rise up and take control of our responses when arguments occur as oppose to being swept up and overwhelmed by the fears that societal pressures have programmed into us.
So! If you’re that newly married young wife or married for awhile veteran whose got them “Why is this happening?!” feels, read on – you are not alone!
Arguments are normal! They refine you…
Remember your first argument? Ever cried in the car ride to Church then as soon as you see other members all of a sudden your face is on point? Or what about when your husband is trying to act all calm and collected on the phone in front of his boys whilst you’re screaming on the other end? or is it just me? lol I think one of my girlfriends Mum had it right when she described their relationship, “Sometimes we’re good, and then other times we ahh…collapse”. Yes that’s me and my husband, when we’re good we’re really good, but then when Seilala’s fia-cool like Danny Zuko leaving Sandy high and dry at the pep rally…we collapse lol
Every marriage has it’s ups and downs, even the most zealous ones. A healthy marriage is one that is open and embracing of these ‘discussions’ as my husband likes to call them. Arguments aren’t always a bad thing so long as it is about something that will add value to my marriage. It is one form of communication and in some ways a check and balance on where my marriage is at.
A healthy argument is one that leaves me feeling challenged to grow in some way at the end; an unhealthy argument is one that leaves me feeling drained, deflated, and defeated. An argument can also vary between couples, for some an argument is a loud expression of a difference in opinion, for others it may be a softer exchange of perspectives.
However let me make it very clear here that an argument that turns physically, emotionally, or mentally abusive is NOT OK. Please seek professional help if you are in a situation that can be potentially harmful or is unsafe.
Whatever shape our arguments may take it’s important to always bear in mind that; 1 – It’s a mechanism for both spouses to freely voice a concern/perspective; 2 – Any differences are to be respected; 3 – We’re both on the same team, so a win for me is a win for my husband – it’s not me against him; and 4 – We don’t need to argue until the cows come home, utilize tools such as timeout or going for a walk so as to (re)establish peace and self-control but more importantly to put our emotions in check.
This last part is something I struggle with and constantly have to refine in my character. As a woman it’s in my nature to become emotional about things and therefore I find myself being emotion led as oppose to being spirit led in an argument. What’s the difference? Being emotion led bounds me to thinking and seeing only through my eyes and to fight until I’m ready to give in. Being spirit led frees me to step back and to see my spouse as God sees him; a son whom is loved dearly by our Heavenly Father, a life that was purchased at such a high price, and a man who belongs to the ultimate creator and giver of all things (now that revelation still blows my mind).
I also love Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. I ask myself, am I in line with the fruits of the Holy Spirit? If not, then I probably need to walk away and check in my emotions. Walking away is not a sign of weakness, it shows courage and the ability to identify that my marriage is worth more to me than the point I am trying to make. It’s also an act of humility and honor, humbling myself to allow God to intervene and honoring the vows that we made to one another. The thing is, I may not be able to control how I want my spouse to respond, but I can control how I choose to respond.
Remember – it’s OK to be fired up, just don’t let the fire consume you, allow it to refine you.