Before I got married, I dreaded having to have a "talk" with a man I was dating because the talk almost never gave me the results I desired. Now, as a married woman, I have a completely different experience when my husband and I have to have a "talk."
Intense fellowship a.k.a. arguing can be such a blessing. I'm fortunate that my husband and I get along 95% of the time but that 5%....WHEW, HELP ME LAWD! We have figured out our conflicts usually happen around the time Aunt Flow shows up (PMS is mad real). Anyhow, we have decided to develop a few rules for how we deal with each other when we encounter disagreements.
1. Don't be Petty!
I can be Petty McPettyson in an argument! Going tit-for-tat only makes the situation harder to resolve.
2. Give up your right to be right!
This is specifically key for women since we are USUALLY RIGHT (we can still be right but let him think he is)! If your husband is like mine he thinks he's ALWAYS RIGHT! While the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, don't allow the need to assert your "rightness" get in the way of loving your mate.
3. Listen more than you talk!
4. Fight fair!
We love each other! Low blows are damaging and have long-term effects on relationships. We can choose to lay out facts without going below the belt.
5. When all else fails KISS!
It is so hard to keep a frown on my face when my man shuts me up with a kiss! The problem can be on the table without discarding the baby and the bath water! Physical touch is healing.
Every time Edward and I have had a real disagreement, it has brought us closer. Arguing evokes honesty if you remove the emotion. I recall our first big argument, we were furious with each other! After we both settled down we worked on the root issues and made a plan. It was beautiful. It built more trust.
We strive to listen, be attentive and validate feelings. Open dialogue is a gift and sometimes it's not wrapped in a pretty package.
I'm going to end my vulnerability series on the topic of HEADSHIP, what it means and more importantly, what it means to me (us). If you read Mikki's post on submission, she breaks down how she views marriage from a woman's perspective, the submissive woman. On the flip side of that coin is the man's place in the position of headship. Although I did get one example for a prosperous marriage, It was only in small glimpses because I went to a private boarding school where I only came home on the weekends. In my opinion, this put me (many of us) at a disadvantage when it come to leading a household. I mean, how could I lead when I had, on many occasions, questioned my own faith in the institution?
I didn't understand the concept fully until we went to premarital counseling. There we learned from a couple that had been teaching the class for almost as long as they’ve been married (20 years). They taught us that the man needs be the protective covering for his family.
I initially thought that a husband switch would turn on when I found the woman I wanted to marry. But of course, it didn’t. I also thought that when people say that “marriage takes work”, I didn’t realize that most of the “work” is work on oneself.
My greatest challenge is to actually live up to a standard that I didn’t get to witness growing up. Some may think that it’s an innate thing to be “man of the house” and, in theory, it is. However, when you come from an environment that didn't provide tried and true examples it takes an open heart and mind to discover your shortcomings. I had to learn to give selfless in service of my wife. After so many years of only caring about my own immediate needs, I am on the path to complete oneness with another person. I am proud to say that my faith is growing stronger everyday, just as our young marriage is.
Christlike male headship means that you show strength wherever you can. You’re not a sphinx; you’re not a superman. You can and should show genuine emotion, and you should make clear to your son(s) that men get sad, men get angry at evil, men are tender and gentle with women. But like David charged Solomon, you’re engaged in a lifelong process of “showing yourself a man” and thus being strong for others (1 Kings 2:2). When hardship hits, headship persists.
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