Monday, October 24, 2011

Do All Married Couples Fight?

Any marriage counselor will tell you that all couples fight, and a good marriage will have mastered conflict resolution by learning how to fight fairly. I never quite understand this. Fighting brings images to my mind of two guys going at it at the flagpole behind the school and one emerging with a slightly less swollen black eye and crowing proudly, "You should see the other guy!" Is that really what I am to expect in marriage? I mean how do you "keep it fair" when you're beating someone up?

I realized that my definition of fighting could be off, so I consulted Here's what I found:
  • to engage in battle or in single combat; attempt to defend oneself against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an adversary.
  • an angry argument or disagreement:

These definitions seem to assume that my husband is my adversary and any disagreement we have must involve anger and arguing in an attempt to destroy each other. And this is supposed to be normal?!

Thankfully, (at least in this case) my husband and I are not usually considered normal. Although we've had a few disagreements and had to discuss them, I do not remember a time when we felt like adversaries or argued in an angry manner. Maybe it will come later since the marriage counselors say it happens to all couples.

While sharing a piece of cheesecake on our monthly date a few nights ago, I asked my husband what I should say to you about fighting. I want to be real with you, but I want to make sure the definitions are clear.

Have we been angry with each other? Yeah. Have we misunderstood each other? Sure. However any disagreement is always followed by a discussion to resolve it quickly. This is because we are on the same team and do NOT consider ourselves adversaries. We don't raise our voices and insult each other. We don't try to hurt one another even with words or insinuations. That is how one fights an adversary. It is not how one resolves conflict with the person they love the most in the world.

What do you think? Do all couples fight? What exactly does  fighting in marriage look like?

By the way, my husband did give me an answer but it's a little fuzzy since we were in conflict for the last bite of cheesecake. Only kidding! I'll tell you what he said in next week's post.

Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little blogging mixed in. After her family has been taken care of, she dabbles in her other passions of reading, health and music. She blogs about her life, her Heavenly Father, marriage, parenting and home at and real food for real families from the perspective of real faith at

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