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Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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How to argue with your spouse

My husband and I celebrated SEVEN years of marriage this past weekend (woo hoo!).  To celebrate we went to a Winshape “Courageous Hearts” retreat in Rome, GA.

Inspired by the quote, “the best thing you can give your kids is a good marriage” we took an intentional getaway designed not for couples in crisis, just couples that want the BEST marriage possible.  Our weekend was full of RELAXATION, no distractions (it is media free), time together, and time to learn how to be even better together.

Truett Cathy (yes the founder of Chick-fil-A) founded Winshape with the purpose of shaping “winners”  and shaping winning marriages is one of the things they do great…plus we had excellent customer service and lots of “my pleasure.”

The ropes course: 

I learned so much I will probably be writing about it forever but most importantly was a really cool lesson on “how to argue with your spouse” led by Todd Sandel (who did an awesome job!)  Here is what I learned:

Rarely are arguments about only the issue at hand.  More often a “fear button” has been pushed and we are reacting because of the fear button, not the issue.  Let me give you an example:

The wife is watching HGTV, she says, “oh honey look, I would love to do that to our kitchen!”  He hears “I am not a good enough provider and you would like to do that to our kitchen tomorrow.” 

His fear button of, “I”m not good enough” was pushed.  He reacts by saying, “Don’t you remember the budget talk?  Why would you bring that up now when we just paid for dance lessons?” 

She reacts by using “you always” or “we never”  because now her button of “I’m not being heard or my opinion isn’t valued” is pushed. 

And so the cycle continues. 

The issue is no longer about the plans for the kitchen but a husband who doesn’t feel valued and a wife who doesn’t feel heard. 

After a little practice you can quickly identify when you get in the cycle and deal with the “buttons” instead of just arguing in circles. 

If the buttons are identified early, the argument would end before it had a chance to start.  Imagine a tennis match:

Serve: That kitchen on HGTV is Beautiful!
Return: Don’t you remember the budget talk?
AH HA! Your button was pushed.  Argument ender: I’m sorry I didn’t intend that we remodel anytime soon if ever.  It’s just a show I enjoy. Thank you for providing us with a home when so many have so little. (ok maybe that’s a little over the top…but I guarantee that would end the argument!) 

Repair & Reconnect

My fear button of _________ got pushed

I reacted by __________

How ever the truth about my value is  __________

What I really long for is ____________

Marriage is the foundation of the family.  If you are married…I hope this will help you argue less, and voice your differences with love. 

-Katie

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LiveJournal Tags: Marriage,Christian

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