Conflict within a marriage is inevitable. Two people who come from different backgrounds, who have different world views, and who were created differently are coming together to live as one. There is no way to escape from disagreeing with one another.
When disagreement occurs, a game of tug-of-war usually follows. Both people in the relationship are fighting to get the other on their side, or to see things the way they do. Though, It is completely normal to simply struggle to understand each other's point of view, disagreement often turns into a dispute. Disputes can lead to strain in the relationship, and when the relationship is strained, resentment creeps in.
Both people in the relationship will unknowingly try to change the other. Their intent isn't to change the other person but to get them to see things the way they do/ understand them. When one spouse tries to change the other, it is the beginning of marital sabotage. You can NOT change another person. However, you can change yourself.
The best way to improve a strained relationship is to look at your own faults and begin correcting them. When you grow, the people close to you grow as well. When you become the best version of yourself, the people close to you are inspired to do the same. The most powerful thing you can do for you relationship is self-improve.
Start with practicing patience and understanding. Open your mind and heart by accepting the fact that your spouse is DIFFERENT than you. You two were raised differently. You have different personalities. There is no possible way that you will agree on everything. Accept it. Repeat it over and over in your mind. WE ARE DIFFERENT. And then make it your mission to understand them, even if they aren't attempting to understand you.
You have to remember that it is not about you getting something in return from your spouse, it is about you improving yourself and becoming the best version of you that you can possibly be. Don't be naive and think that you aren't part of your martial problem because 90% of the time, BOTH people play a role in the conflict. Work on being more patient, understanding, and having a clear view of yourself. There is a great chance that it will tremendously improve your relationship.
In every relationship there are going to be some ups and downs. Hopefully a lot more ups than anything else. However, when conflict arises, you have to embrace fighting fair if you truly want to make progress with an issue. That can be hard when you’re in the middle of the ring, and emotions start getting the best of you. It’s a relationship boxing match ready to go, but if you truly want to “win”, then take heed to this seven steps:
1. Stay In The RingDo not allow your argument to spill out of your house and especially not onto social media. People love to watch fights and they generally don’t care who wins as long as they have their entertainment. Don’t let people use your relationship for their personal entertainment. If you value your relationship don’t put it in the court of public opinion.
2. Train For The FightFights are inevitable in relationships so whether you are in a relationship now or you hope to be in one in the future, don’t forget to work on yourself. Before boxers step foot in the ring they spend months training and preparing themselves to reach their goals. If your goal is to have a happy, healthy relationship then you need to first heal from the fights you’ve had in past. Next you need to feed yourself the right things, read books, take classes, go to church and learn as much as you can about being a better you and that is what will lead you to becoming the Relationship Champion of the World.
3. Never Hit Below The BeltYou may want to hurt your opponent but it will cause you to lose in the end. Speaking rudely or negatively about your partners family and friends or hopes and dreams is just not right. When you say things just to hurt the person, your relationship is ultimately what suffers.
4. Fights Should Not Last All NightNever let a fight last too long. Boxing matches are generally 10 to 12 rounds, that last three minutes a piece. If the fight lasts too long let a judge or trusted third party decide who was right and who was wrong, don’t be surprised if you both were at fault.
5. Use A Referee Whenever Possible Having an unbiased third party who can help keep the fight clean and ultimately help judge right and wrong can stop a fight from becoming too ugly. This could be a counselor, relationship coach, pastor, or a mutual friend. Whoever you choose, it has to be agreed upon by both parties. Your best friend is probably not going to be a fair judge.
6. Remember Who’s FightingHaving people who care about you, who will always be in your corner is great but they are not the ones in the relationship. So remember what they have taught you but never forget what you are fighting for. It’s your relationship that is on the ropes. It’s your heart that could be broken. How you handle a fight is ultimately up to you.
7. The Goal Is A Knock Out Your goal is to knock out an issue or problem not to knock the other person out of the relationship. Too often, we get so caught up in winning that we actually end up losing. A good fight in a relationship ends in a draw. When both people have shared their feelings equally and both understand where the other person is coming from that is when issues get knocked out and people grow closer. At the end of the fight you should be able to show love and thank the other person for the spirited yet respectful fight. Fights should heal rather than hurt your relationship and they should never become physical.
It’s time to admit that in the past you beat yourself. You went into a relationship still hurting and injured from the past, you had negative people in your corner, you took the fight out of the ring and onto social media, you often hit below the belt, and technically you knocked yourself out. You disqualified yourself from having a Happy, Healthy, Relationship.
5 Things Every Girl Who Wants to get Married Should Know
1. Have a Worthy Candidate
First thing first, you need to find someone worthy of your time. A handsome face with a job is simply not enough. Only invest your time in someone who is God fearing, loyal, honest, selfless, motivated, and wise. Make no excuses and don’t settle on this one, because the only thing worse than DATING the wrong man is MARRING the wrong man.
2. You be Happy First
There is no possible way that anyone else can make you happy if you’re not first happy within yourself. We often get confused and feel that someone else is responsible for our fulfillment. We’ll spend insane amounts of time and energy trying to mold someone into the man of our dreams, forgetting that only true fulfillment can come through God. So stop trying to mold others into what you want them to be and focus on molding yourself into being the best you.
3. Communicate Your Values
Before you get too deeply involved with anyone, make sure they are aware of the things you wholeheartedly honor and believe in. If God is important to you, communicate that. If you can’t be with someone who smokes, let them know immediately. Relationships require compromise, however, your values should not be something you have to settle on.
4. Sometimes Love is a Decision, Not a Feeling
Once you get through the first three steps and find yourself in a thriving relationship, remember that “and then they lived happily ever after” are for books and movies. In reality, times are going to get tough and the only way to progress to the next step is to make a conscious decision to work through your issues. Two different people who have two different personalities aren’t going to easily mesh together. Selfishness is the biggest fatality in all relationships. We want what we want and if we don’t get it, we start the blame game. Stop pointing the finger and ask yourself, how can I understand them better. Your selflessness and willingness to meet them in the middle will act as motivation for your worthy candidate to do the same. If you want your relationship to work, you have to CHOOSE to make it work.
5. Know You are Worth the Wait
I was no virgin when I got married, but I wish I was. If I could take it all back, I wouldn’t have allowed those unworthy candidates to even look at me, let alone touch me. We live in an overwhelmingly sexualized country. There are too many “I’m lonely and I got needs” going on and not enough “I’m too precious to recklessly give myself over to a handsome heartbreaker so he can use me then move along to the next!”
Women often complain about their children’s fathers not being much of a father. That’s because 9 times out of 10, he was only looking to have a good time, not become a father, which brings about another set of issues that are too deep for me to get into right now…
The point is, even though waiting until marriage to have sex is a foreign concept these days, it can be accomplished. If you truly have a worthy candidate, he will respect your wishes AND it just might get that ring on your finger a little quicker.
GETTING MARRIED vs STAYING MARRIED
There is lots of advice out there on what it takes to get married from being able to cook for women and being capable of providing for men. While I believe this is good advice, it’s simply basic survival skills that every human being should have. When it comes to a marriage, this advice won’t take you beyond the first six months. Too many couples focus on getting married and not staying married. If you want a quality relationship that will endure, you’re going to need to be able to do more than cook and provide.
Here are some very important qualities that will lead to a lasting, quality relationship.
The ability to consider someone else’s feelings over your own is something that will be extremely essential in keeping your marriage strong. This doesn’t mean you won’t value your own feelings, but it means that you won’t count your feelings as more important than your spouses.
Faithfulness is huge! Being human, temptation is almost unavoidable but you have to not only resist temptation, but you have to AVOID putting yourself in situations where temptation could get the best of you. Don’t allow yourself to be alone with your extremely attractive coworker; avoid that situation at all costs!
Don’t let a day slip by without fulfilling each other’s needs. There’s a great book called The 5 Love Languages that tells how different people experience love. Find out your spouses “Love Language” and be intentional about filling up their “love tank.”
Listening is the most important part of communication. Listening is love! People want to be heard and understood and if your spouse is not being heard and understood, you’re doing a great disservice to your relationship.
Fight for your relationship. My husband and I have a rule where we don’t mention the word divorce. You have to make up in your mind that your relationship is forever. Keep toxic words such as divorce and separation out of your vocabulary and speak life into your relationship. Set it in your mind that your relationship will be forever and fight to make it the most beautiful marriage in the world.
Establish a Foundation
This is the MOST important quality. The origins of marriage is from God and divorce is only frowned upon from a religious point of view. So if marriage is a God thing, why not make God the foundation of your marriage? Love WILL NOT keep your marriage together. Over the course of your marriage you will experience a million different emotions for your spouse, ranging from loving them to despising them. When your marriage is at its worst what will keep it together? Your marriage HAS to be built upon some moral standard and I would implore you to choose God.
THE NIGHT I ALMOST GAVE MY LIFE FOR LOVE
I remember sitting on my bed in the apartment I shared with my two college roommates, neither of them were home. I held my phone in my hand and stared out the window into darkness as tears poured from my eyes. I had spent the last two hours binge calling my boyfriend only to receive no answer or call back. The hour was late and I realized that his time was being occupied by someone else, perhaps another female? My mind began conjuring up every negative thing I could think of.
Corine, duh he doesn't love you - no one does. Not even your own parents loved you (I grew up in foster care). You've never truly had a friend, you've always been the third wheel friend. Even the parent you have now doesn't love you, you're just a check to her. Kill yourself!
Every negative emotion I'd ever felt became real in that moment and began to suffocate me. I got a full bottle of pills and swallowed them all.
I remember paramedics shining lights into my eyes before rushing me to the emergency room where I was forced to drink and keep down the most disgusting liquid. When I threw it up I had to start all over again. Then I had to convince the suicide counselor questioning my sanity that I was stable enough to return home.
That night was monumental for me. I asked myself, how did things escalate so drastically? It wasn't until years later that I realized, that night ended the way it did because I breathed him, I lived him, I loved him so much I surrendered my heart to him.
I didn't know back then how powerful of an emotion love was. I didn't realize that love could blind, even though it was blinding me. I didn't know that love could suffocate, even though I was in the mist of suffocating. I didn't know that love could bring you face to face with death, even though I was stuffing pills down my throat.
I had to get to the point where I learned what true love felt like, not the kind that made me want to die, but the kind that encouraged me to live. Once I did, my life began to transform.
When I think back to that night, oddly enough, I'm glad it happened. It was a very important lesson I needed to learn and now I'm able to help someone else through a similar difficult situation. It's also what helped me to write my first book, A Small Piece of Her Heart. Though my book is not autobiographical or about suicide, I was able to draw off the extreme emotions I felt in surrendering my heart to the wrong one. I was able to write about what it felt like to be hurt so badly that I was unable to give any part of myself to anyone else. A Small Piece of Her Heart is for the girl who struggles with love, who sometimes loses a piece of herself in the fairy tale of love. I pray it touches hearts the way I intended.
Book available today here http://www.corinemarie.com/books.html