Being swept away with the feelings of falling in love can be one of the most amazing times in our lives. When you fall in love, it is between you and that person that takes your breath away when they enter the room. In the beginning, it is just the two of you. A table for two in a corner of a little restaurant is all the two of you need. If only the totality of our romantic relationships could remain this way.
But in every relationship, that first argument will happen. This argument will mark the beginning of your communication style, as well as, how you choose to process this conflict.
Think back to the first argument you had with your spouse. Who did you tell? After an argument, most of us make the mistake of venting and sharing the details while we are still angry. The need to have an outsider confirm or validate if your position is correct is a normal human reaction. However, in doing this, you invite others into the most intimate parts of your marriage. While you may not discuss sexual concerns, it is still an intimate partnership that deserves privacy and respect.
A Thought to Ponder
It may seem cathartic and therapeutic to speak to “your” support system. Conversely, this is ultimately giving others a voyeuristic view of your relationship. In turn, the very support systems you have confided in are now your audience. Because the moment you and your spouse find middle ground from which to grow, you now have others who possess full knowledge of that compromise. Once there is resolution in your marriage, you can even feel ashamed or regret towards the “audience members” that were privileged to your personal conflict. And here is what generally happens after you and your spouse have exercised grace and forgiveness:
- Your audience WILL expect an update of how the two of you were able to make up.
- Your audience WILL judge you and/or your choices within that make up.
- Your audience WILL have a particular view of your spouse because you have now placed your spouse in a “not so good” light.
- Your audience WILL form an opinion of your spouse. This may lead to your spouse feeling alienated in the presence of the audience you have invited into your marriage.
Actively Engaging the Power of Thought
1. Each couple should become its own little village, with its own rules, bylaws, and nuances. The two of you should decide; Who needs to sleep by the door? Which of you leads the conversation with the used car salesman? Which of you needs that long hug after a hard day? It will prove beneficial to establish an enclave that functions outside of family, friends, co-workers, and the pace of society.
2. Forming a healthy pattern of waiting and then communicating with your spouse will serve you well over the course of your marriage. You can become too reliant on others’ opinions. The opinions of others can become like white noise that only serves to drown out your inner voice. It is ultimately your inner voice that will serve as the guiding force towards peace and resolution.
3. Each of us has the right to speak with others about our feelings. If you and your spouse have not been able to establish a healthy communication style which fosters your need to connect, then it is imperative that you are meticulously selective with whom you process your emotions. This person should be understanding, mature, fair, and most importantly, positively insightful. It may also help if this person is not a part of your daily life.
Arguments between any two people are normal. How you respond to these arguments is a clear indicator towards the health and longevity of your relationship.
Conflict is inevitable. However, if you find that you need outside sources to navigate and assist in your marital concerns, stop and ask yourself, “can this person really help me?”