Guest post by Tammy Oberg De La Garza
Handling conflict with my husband does not come naturally to me. Like many wives, I’d prefer to avoid disputes at any cost, but disagreements in marriage are unavoidable and have the potential to either build up or tear down the relationship.
So, it makes a big difference how we react in the middle of a fight, or worse in the midst of a crisis. Here are 5 ways to save your marriage:
1. Recognize that your husband is not the enemy.
Oh, I know it FEELS like your hubby is the source of evil when you’re in the heat of battle, but in actuality you are facing a much bigger opponent – Satan. Pause for a moment and envision the real enemy standing between you and your spouse. Marriage is a huge target. If a marriage is destroyed, then a family crumbles; impacting a church and on a larger scale a community. Imagine yourself stepping around the enemy and turning, so that you can stand side-by-side with your mate and face the real enemy head-on, together.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:9 (NLT)
2. Diffuse your anger with perspective.Pray for wisdom. Pray for your husband. While you’re at it, pray and ask God to help you see your husband through Jesus’ eyes. Broken. Sinful. Hurting. And just like you. The truth is that we are all broken sinners journeying along a hazardous road in a dark world. Stop for a moment and turn to God. He alone is equipped to meet all your needs, and He alone will never fail you. You are married to a man who was not made to replace God in your life. Trust that God will protect you. Trust that with no matter what happens, God will take care of you.
3. Measure your words.
Not to be sexist, the brains of men and women operate differently. Research shows that male brains operate heavily in the information- and action-processing areas, while female brains utilize the networking grid that can swiftly tap into different processing centers (i.e. switching from logic to intuition). An example of this is the fact that women are great multi-taskers, while men do extremely well with task-focused projects. Men deal well with concise ideas, where women may process several different emotions, theories, and concerns in a single conversation. So, if you want your words to have an impact (and an audience), decide which of your issues is most pressing and then construct your sentences carefully and succinctly.
4. Be cautious in revealing a private crisis.When facing a marital threat, it would be tempting to overshare your burden with friends or family members, some of whom might be hungry for ‘news’ or gossip. This is dangerous territory. The last thing a marriage in crisis needs is a cheering section that advocates for revenge or immediate divorce. We should only share our private situation with a trusted friend or family member who values Biblical direction in marriage and will provide Godly feedback.
5. Pray for your marriage.
Pray for your husband. Pray for his protection. His wisdom. Pray that God would captivate the heart of your husband and fill it with love for Jesus. You don’t have to want to pray for him… you just have to do it. And you both will benefit.
Tammy Oberg De La Garza is a wife, mother, author, and professor who has been married to the great love of her life, Rey for 20+ years and is quite familiar with the bumpy road of matrimony. For more than a decade, Tammy has been engaged in marriage ministry and helping women face the difficult challenges of life.