Jim and I have had moments of marriage conflict during our 33 plus years of marriage. Our relationship has had its ups and downs. We’ve discovered that marriage is a path and a journey… albeit the most wonderful journey of our lives!
Both Jim and I avoid discord and controversy whenever we can. We’re uncomfortable in any situation where it is necessary to confront one another or anyone else for that matter. Personally, I would choose to experience a relationship that is always peaceful, full of harmony, and in a state of calm serenity.
…But I have many lessons to learn in life, and it seems that God has chosen the marriage relationship to be the classroom for many of those lessons. Could it be that relationship conflict can actually be helpful in changing me to be a better wife? Could working through those things that initiate arguments between us actually help to deepen my love for Jim?
Jim and I have had times in our marriage when serious marriage conflict issues brought an emotional separation between us. Any of these issues, unaddressed, had the potential of doing serious damage to our relationship. I remember how one time, as difficult as it was, we faced the challenge and talked about it (both of us in humility and tears). The outcome? …an expression of our renewed love and commitment to one another, the resolve to not hurt one another again, and a time of praying together thanking God for protecting our marriage. It was amazing! In the end, the very thing that brought pain brought us closer than if we hadn’t had the conflict. I remember the heightened level of emotional intimacy we felt after working through the conflict.
Benefits of working through conflict between a husband and wife may include:
- a “touchpoint” that results in communication
- learning to accept one another’s differences
- a recommitment to our relationship
- a renewed appreciation for the value of the love we share
- a rekindled dedication to protect our marriage relationship
- personal growth in character as each spouse learns to respond correctly to the other and chooses to be a better husband or wife
- a greater awareness of our need for God in our relationship
So, don’t despair when you experience marriage conflicts. Welcome those times with a commitment to properly work through the issues with love and humility. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and uncomfortable (no conflict is ever pleasurable) aware that you and your spouse will reap rewards of a deeper level of intimacy.