MARRIED COUPLES- Clash; Fighting; Conflict; …Master 7 Healthy Fighting Habits

Folake- Mtchew, Lord please help… please help me, I am really trying here. Ade, Ade, Ade? Hey! Hey! Hey! Uummm, (whispering) I am trying to hold my tongue but gosh he gets on my nerves at times. She begins to walk away……

A fight between Folake and Ade. They’ve been married for only 2 years.


Ade- Hold your tongue? Wow that’s new….I’m surprised that you haven’t started calling me names as you always do. Women (shaking his head) Wow! Sometimes I just wonder why you don’t think things through before you speak. You seem to have frequent verbal diarrhoea. Like you walk on your brains.

Folake- What? Me Ade? Why do you always have to talk to me in such derogatory manner. God I have suffered (she shakes her head). It’s not your fault. “Shebi” it’s because I don’t have a job yet, that is why you can talk to me like a housemaid. Mtchew (she hisses)……if I had a job, I would be too busy, I won’t have time to listen to all these nonsense you’re saying (she stomps out of the room).

And if Folake was the type that has a razor tongue, who gives fire for fire, her response will go like this……

Folake- You’re calling me names Ade, Me? Me? Me o! Hey, I have suffered in my life! It is you that has verbal diarrhea. In fact you have ……… blah, blah, blah….and she goes on and on.

My dear reader, please don’t give me that look. Don’t be surprised. We all know this happens all the time among couples. Even couples that have been married for quite some time. Sometimes it even gets physical. But then that’s another ball game entirely.

IMG_5861Difference between Disagreement and Conflict

Disagreement as the word denotes, is when two people don’t agree on a particular issue. It is lighter and does not threaten the stability and foundation of the marriage. Conflict on the other hand is more aggressive. It is offensive. If not curbed, can threaten the life of the relationship. From experience, reading and counselling, most couples experience conflict at some point in their relationship, especially at the early stages of their marriage. Couples who do not engage in conflict is mostly as a result of maturity over the years or they have conflict-proof their relationship by mastering healthy conflict rules of engagement.

Like any relationship, when two people interact with each other, they are bound to disagree at some point in their relationship. Especially when you have to live with the person for the rest of your life, and if you agree with me, it sometimes escalates to shouting at each other. This is true and real. So if we must have this “intense moment of fellowship” then it is good to know how to “fight” clean so at the end of the day the foundation of the marriage will still be intact.

In the book “I suck at Relationships, so you don’t have to” by Bethany Frankel, a New York Bestselling book, the author called it “Habits of Healthy Fighting”


7 Healthy Fighting Habits

No name calling- Stupid man; useless woman; daft; lazy, irresponsible, idiot, etc. These are names you don’t want to call your spouse. We all know words are like eggs. Once broken, cannot be picked and put together, so be very careful. Remember, you are in it for life so this person you are calling daft, you still have to come back to make love with him/her.

Keep extended family out of your arguments- Deal with the issue at hand. If it does not involve your in-laws, don’t bring their names up. Both parties get sensitive when their extended family gets pulled into an agreement and one innocent name mentioning may be interpreted which can lead to the throwing of cannon balls.

Never use absolutes- Again, deal with the issue at hand. If you wanted your husband to do something and he didn’t, speak only to that situation. Don’t say stuff like, “YOU NEVER take care of me, or YOU NEVER spend time with me”

Don’t kitchen sink- This is quite common with women. Kitchen-sink is when you bring up old baggage into new complaints. Fight one battle at a time. Statements like- “last week, you did the same thing” or last year, “you acted the same way”. Whatever you are upset about, stick to it and don’t extend to events that have passed. If you do, things will only escalate which will lead to war.


Pick the right time- If you have an issue bothering you and you think bringing it up might lead to an argument or conflict between you and your spouse, do not just go and discuss with him. Read his mood and wait for an appropriate time to speak with him.

Learn to be mute- Yes, mute. Just listen. You don’t have to respond all the time and you don’t have to have the last say. If he is throwing offensive words at you, I know how hard this can be, please exercise patience. Most of the time when the drama is over, they realize what happened and some of them do come and apologize.

Lastly, don’t rock the foundational dynamics of your marriage- For example, if you have a joint account, this is not the time to say, I will split the account or I am moving out of the bedroom or if the family eats together every night, do not break the chain. These are things that you do together that keeps you close. Don’t break it just because you are angry.

Babes, how have you handled the conflict in your relationship, share with us in the comment section below or do you have questions regarding marital problems? Send your questions in an email.

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6 thoughts on “MARRIED COUPLES- Clash; Fighting; Conflict; …Master 7 Healthy Fighting Habits

  1. This is a nice write up,truly it happens in marriages but wht I do is i just keep quite and once my husband notice dt he comes close and we sort out issues.but in a situation where d husband is sleeps with smone and d wife knws abt it wht should be d reaction

    • Thank you Oluwanifemi. Infidelity in marriage is a very sad but blunt reality of what some marriages go through. My immediate answer to this for the wife to stop being intimate with her husband for medical and psychological reasons. Then communication among other measures should follow. This is an extensive topic and unfortunately I can’t dissect it completely in a comment section 🙁 . I will be discussing in my June 8th posts because I have some other topics requested by readers from previous posts. Thanks Oluwanifemi. Please let me know if you have more questions.

  2. Tolu thanks for this insightful post. People go into marriage with a lot of assumptions and to have this points at the back of one’s mind is very crucial to riding over rocky situations when they come.
    Please can you share your view on relationships where the woman is the breadwinner of the home especially for marriages 5yrs and under that are going through discovering themselves and have to deal with this issue at the same time. It seems African society have not caught up with the fact that a lot of women have now become breadwinners (earning significantly more than the hubby) and may not be able to completely discharge their traditional home duties because of added responsibility at work

    • Thanks Funmi. Unfortunately, the scenario you painted is the blunt reality of the world we currently live in. Please look out for this on Tolusworld. I will address this in a blogpost. Thanks again

  3. Tolu once again a beautiful write up from you. Marriage truly could be challenging especially as both couples are not perfect and since they are not perfect there is bound to be misunderstanding. l like the fact that you don’t claim to be the know all even as you speak from your own personal experience you shared some things from other people who have written something on the subject matter. l agree with you that if most couples are able to apply the seven points you shared many of them will see disagreement for what it is- an opportunity to move the marriage forward!
    It is obvious that what you write you are applying it because your husband is always there to support you and even take pictures with you. Please keep the flag flying as you continue to encourage us all

    • Thanks so much Oladele. Know everything? 🙂 Marriage unlike any other institution is one which one never graduate from. You just get better at dealing with some issues. Every stage is a learning curve. Thanks again Oladele 🙂