Thursday, July 1, 2010

Love fights fair

"Like it or not, conflict in marriage is inevitable. When you tied the knot as bride and groom, you joined not only your hopes and dreams but also your hurts, fears, imperfections and emotional baggage.

The deepest, most heartbreaking damage you'll ever do (or ever have done) to your marriage will most likely occur in the thick of conflict. That's because this is when your pride is strongest. Your anger is hottest. You're the most selfish and judgmental. Your words contain the most venom. You make the worst decisions.

Love reminds you that your marriage is too valuable to allow it to self-destruct, and that your love for your spouse is more important than whatever you're fighting about.

[Some possible rules to apply during any fight or disagreement:]
1. We will never mention divorce.
2. We will not bring up old, unrelated items from the past.
3. We will never fight in public or in front of our children.
4. We will call a "time out" if conflict escalates to a damaging level.
5. We will never touch one another in a harmful way.
6. We will never go to bed angry with one another.
7. Failure is not an option. Whatever it takes, we will work this out.

[Some possible personal rules to apply during fights or disagreements:]
1. I will listen first before speaking.
2. I will deal with my own issues up-front.
3. I will speak gently and keep my voice down.

Love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for."

Today's Dare: Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Steve and I set up boundaries when we got engaged. Here's the link to our post where we defined the rules we set up years ago. Steve and I abide by these rules, and I believe that our marriage is stronger for it. We are able to openly, honestly and safely discuss serious issues without worrying that it will cost us too dearly. I know that he will still kiss me goodnight and tell me that he loves me. And when he wakes in the morning, I will still be by his side waiting with a smile and a kiss.

We vowed "for better, for worse...till death do us part," and we meant it then. We mean it now. We'll mean it tomorrow.

I love you, Steven. I love sharing my life with you.


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