When two people with absolutely different backgrounds, different upbringing and different personalities come together in marriage, I can assure you they will conflict on issues. You will step on each other’s toes. Conflict in marriage is inevitable, but when they become too frequent and over issues that are irrelevant, it could be damaging to the health of the marriage.
Early in my marriage, I remember so well…..I flared up and argued over quite a number of issues with Dokun. Why? #1….maybe because I want to have the last say; #2. Maybe I have heard from some other married women that I shouldn’t let my husband walk over me; #3. Oh and my personality…..I can’t forget that one….I used to give “fire for fire” 😡 in those days (Ha!- God thank you for delivering me). #4. Maybe I want to prove that I know better…..and the list goes on. In recent years …..say…in the last 2-3 years, I have also noticed that when I am confronted with certain issues in marriage, my reaction is sometimes “en-en”…..and I walk away or I just nod my head in agreement and move on.
At other times, I ensure that I get to the bottom of the matter. In comparing the former with the latter, I have experienced and enjoyed peace in my marriage more in the latter than in the former….so the question is what did I do differently? ……….and just to chip in, I noticed the same behavioral metamorphosis in Dokun over the years as well.
Clarification: The type of disagreement referenced here are not the ones you have when you watch soccer (football) and you think Arsenal should win and while he thinks Manchester is better.
So how do you know issues to “battle” over?
1. The number one question to ask yourself is how important is the issue at hand? Does it have a long term negative effect on my marriage or person? Does it negatively affect the core dynamics of my marriage? Does it affect the building blocks (more importantly the foundation) of my marriage? Or any other question that may assist you in determining the future. If your answer is “No” to all these, then please learn to nod and walk away. For example, if your spouse replaces tissue rolls with the tissue facing the wall……how will this affect your marriage? Or you get irritated when the tooth brush is placed wrongly. Tell me….how will this affect your marriage on a long term basis. But issues like habitual financial debt should be discussed.
2. Know your personalities- I am someone who is very big on personality (read my About Tolusworld). It has helped me to understand myself and find my purpose in life. I have also been able to understand and explain people’s actions when I look at it through the human personality lens. Study yourself and your spouse. Know what his weaknesses and strengths are. This will enable you (sometimes) to understand why he does what he does. You will realize that some things he does are as a result of his personality weakness and not intentional. Of course there are some personality traits that need to be seriously managed else it will put a permanent dent in the marriage. Like an aggressive behavior that leads to abuse. This is absolutely unacceptable.
#3. Hold your tongue…you don’t have to respond to everything. If you are like me in my early years of marriage, you want to be heard, you want to prove you are smart. Sometimes being mute is golden…… (learned this from Dokzy 😉 ). Even if you know you are right. Yes….I said even if you know you are right….keep mute if the issue at hand is irrelevant. It’s not worth it. I’ll give you a very simple real life experience of my hubby and I….So we are currently decluttering our house (I have too many things that I need to give away…I hold on to things too much 🙂 ). So last week we had packed about 2 bags that needed to be moved on a cart from the garage to the driveway. Knowing me, I like to do things sharp-sharp so I can get it over with. I placed the 2 bags on each other. Dokun told me it wouldn’t work. They were too big and will fall over. He even applied some Physics law of gravity……….. 🙂 . Of course I ignored him and quietly he dropped it. Believe it or not and “I kid you not”, I had not moved 2 steps when the bags came falling over. I burst out in laughter. It was as if he saw into the future. And you know the beautiful thing, he did not say a word….he simply picked up the bags, replaced just one of them on the cart and moved on. No arguments. No “I told you so”. “Shi-ke-nna” (finished) …….and peace reigned. I learned my lesson.
In my pursuit of growth in marriage and life in general, I have realized that I will be challenged. Dokun will have an opinion that may differ from mine and he will let it known and vice versa. Do we have to go to war on every issue? Absolutely not. We think it through. Especially if it will affect the core values and principles of our marriage and our personal wellbeing. If it will, we discuss, otherwise we let go. Simply let go…… 🙂
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