Marriage: when small things blow up big

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The issues are often small but the arguments that follow can blow up big. I dislike the way my spouse does something small such as wet towel placement. Everyone knows that they are meant to stay in the bathroom where they can properly dry. The problem is that the trip between the words in my hot head and my mouth can be quick and deadly. Deadly because words have the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. When I present any argument with a hot head, it never goes right. I don't need any books to tell me that, I lived it for years. I wanted to stop this crazy cycle and of course I prayed for help. Of course I read the books and I promised to do better. 

A few months ago, as I was looking at another wet towel in the wrong place, the following thought came to me: I can have an argument about this now or I can have a conversation about it later. Arguments are meant to hurt, defeat and dispose of any happiness. Conversations are meant to heal, build and mend what's broken. I proceeded to pick up the wet towel and hang it myself. Suddenly, there was no need for words to travel from a hot head to my mouth. I decided to have a conversation about it later. 

Later came and our conversation was short, sweet and productive. I decided to give this principle another try. Like most honest couples out there, my husband and I have plenty opportunities for arguments as well as conversations. Every time I found myself harboring anger or dissatisfaction, I told myself: I can have an argument about this now or I can have a conversation about it later. The Bible does say that I should not let the sun go down on my Anger. Yes, I'm calling it what it is. There's no reason to sugar coat Anger. I am choosing to tell myself that I need to cool down and if it's worth it, I can have a conversation when both of us are in a better place to get to a solution. 

Another disclaimer: we have been in situations when the solution did not come and we asked for help (Christian counseling). For the most part, for the small stuff, I am sticking with my experiment. I can have an argument about it or I can practice the self-control that God has given me as His daughter and wait until we can have a conversation about it.
It is possible to have anger under control. I found a lot of help when I read Lisa Bevere's "Be Angry, but don't Blow it" 7 years ago.

Lately I have found a lot of encouragement by reading the Bible on a regular basis and having an "open door policy" with a few friends and mentors. I call it an "open door policy" because they have the freedom to speak the truth in love when they see me walk away from God's best for my life. 

I pray that today's post encourages you in your life. May God bless you as you grow in your marriage journey.