Jayson and I have a really great marriage. He is still the love of my heart, my soul mate and my best friend. But we are NOT perfect. We will never pretend to be. We argue, get mad, get grumpy and cry (at least I do), but we give it 100%. So, let me just tell you a little secret. When we got married, I (Amanda) was a terrible fighter. Seriously y’all. Terrible. The first big argument Jayson and I had, I just knew we were getting a divorce (which is something we don’t consider). I hadn’t really ever learned how to argue. I hadn’t learned that it was OKAY for Jayson and I not to see eye to eye on every single subject. I hadn’t learned that fighting dirty was the biggest way to cause a problem in our marriage. It was ME, I was the bad arguer. I do not like not being the best at something lol, so I learned. I asked questions. I talked to Jayson, I talked to my parents about their divorce and communication, and I did a lot of listening.
So why was I bad a arguing? Let’s jump in with this lovely boxing analogy. I was used to boyfriend or short term relationship arguments. Not married ones. If the argument was bad enough, what happens? You break up. I had been street fighter, not a boxer and I had to change. I had to learn that having an argument while married was a lot like boxing. It was civilized. It was never dirty. These kind of fights had rules. This marriage wasn’t going to end over one fight so we had to set the boundaries. This is kind of what we have come up with along the way.
1. Calm down first. Think about the boxing analogy again. You have to go in with a clear head. WHY are you fighting? Not what happened last or who forgot it was trash night last week. Why right then – right there – are you fighting? Jayson always asked, “What is the root of the problem?”
2. Fighting has to be fair. It needs to be one on one. This means it is between Jayson and I. I don’t bring in other people. This isn’t their argument. Here is the deal y’all, whoever YOU bring in is going to be on your side. That is why you brought them. It’s not “wrastlin” and we don’t tag team.
3. Never leave. This one is right for us. Not for everyone, I know, but for us it was essential. You don’t leave the ring of the match. Clear your head in another room if you need to but don’t walk out. It sets a bad precedent.
4. No low blows or cheap shots. Don’t go ninja’n people who don’t need ninja’n. It’s important to stay on task when fighting. Find a resolution to the one or two issues that started the fight. If there are other issues try to fix those with a clear head some other time.
5. Finish each disagreement with respect for each other. This isn’t a battle to the death. This is about growth. Arguing shouldn’t be something you do all the time so don’t try and tear down the other person by using fighting. That just makes you out to be a Cotton-headed Ninny-muggins. Discussing a disagreement is a great opportunity to learn about your husband or wife and grow closer.
6. Leave it in the boxing ring. When you solve it, it’s done. When I was writing this, I kept trying to think about an example of something we argued about when we first got married, or even now, but I couldn’t. We really try to leave it all there. Most times, we end laughing because someone got the “church giggles” at the wrong time and burst into laughter.
This is just what works for us. First and foremost God is our center. Before being right with each other we have to be right with him. We have to seek the Lord in our disagreements. We have to ask Him to guide us in our answers. Pray alone and pray with your spouse. Until next time we leave you crazy kids with these verses.
Proverbs 3:30 Do not contend with a man for no reason when he has done you no harm.
Psalm 85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other