I like to promote a happy and healthy marriage here on this blog. I like to point people to Jesus and say, “Give him your marriage, he can do amazing things with it!” And he can. And I like to talk about how much God has done in OUR marriage and how much He has grown us. He has.
But I don’t want you to think our marriage is perfect or that you need to be striving for this perfect ideal– something that quite honestly, you may or may not achieve. I don’t want you to feel like your marriage is “less than” because you haven’t somehow achieved a marriage that is devoid of conflict.
Ladies, my marriage is not perfect. God is STILL working on us. I do know some people who have wonderful marriage relationships and who almost never fight! I do know that some people get there. And that’s wonderful! But I also know many other people who have wonderful marriages EVEN THOUGH they often DO have conflict. And that’s wonderful, too.
And that’s pretty much where we are now.
For the first 10+ years of our marriage, we were all over the scale– from okay, to hard, to fair, to really hard. Over the past few years we’ve been working on “pretty great,” but we are both still very stubborn and strong-willed people. Therefore, we sometimes have trouble resolving conflict appropriately when it arises.
DON’T GET ME WRONG. Everything I have said about supporting my husband, being his helper, and following his lead is true. But I’m good at being second in command, and my husband delegates a lot to me. And like I said, I am strong-willed and a wee bit stubborn. Sometimes I mess up. So I’m not saying that I don’t (or that we shouldn’t) seek to be good help-meets. But I AM saying that we might not always be perfect at doing that.
My husband and I are different in a lot of ways–in fact, we are opposites on the personality charts! He’s an INTJ. I’m an E(S/N)F(J/P) (it depends on my mood and circumstances, my S and P can flip-flop so I have a lot of ESFP and ESFJ, with a good amount of ENFP and ENFJ for good measure.) So it makes sense that our relationship, while great, is going to be quite interesting at moments. 😉 But we are alike in a lot of other ways. We are both “take charge” first borns. We are both idea people. We are both pretty smart. Those may cause us to butt heads sometimes, but then we have great strengths that complement each other. And that’s what makes us a great team.
What’s my point? My point is: don’t give up. Don’t think you are failing if you argue over conflicts. Strive for the best, keep working on your goals, focus on loving God and each other, and let God work in your marriage.
After all, being able to work through conflict is a skill that will help your marriage survive many trials and hardships.
I don’t know that my husband and I will ever reach a point that we don’t have conflict, or that we don’t handle it wrong sometimes. We are both so.. US. But I do think that we can learn to handle conflict more appropriately and have arguments over conflict less often. I do think that we can keep working on our great marriage and make it wonderful. All by the grace of God.
Background Image Source: Cuddling Lions by Petr Kratochvil