Today I had something asked of me. Some advice needed from a close friend. And although she did not email me the question, I felt it was a great place to start.
My husband and I are fighting again. It seems like there is nothing I can do to not fight with him. And our children are hearing this as well. I don’t know what to do. The situation isn’t changing, and it has been going on for a while. What should I do?
This was done in person, so it was a full conversation. My friend has been going through this for a while, and isn’t sure what to do about it. She is on the fence, so to say. You can tell that she is entirely in love with her husband, but not the fights that happen often.
Do or don’t, she feels that there is nothing she can do to stop the fighting. And these fights may cause them the big D… In the mean time, what to do?
She has tried talking it out. And there is no way there will be full participation for marriage counseling, which is something I normally suggest as a first. The best thing to start with, in my opinion, is prayer.
Praying helps us in many ways, and the decision to pray about something is the start of leaving the problem at the feet of Jesus. That leaves us with the feeling of a large burden lifted off our shoulders.
Now, the next thing should be counseling. I’m not a professional, as I’ve said many times throughout my posts. However, I am one of those people who others tend to come to in times of need. Whether it is for a listening ear to vent, or even help, like this.
My friend was looking for both. As well as a quick break from the situation. Often times, we will snap right back at the person who snaps at us. Sometimes we will work ourselves into an anxious state, that makes us snap at the first possible snide comment made from our spouse or significant other.
Both things do not help, and it also means that there is no one person at fault. It takes two to fight. At this time, if one person is too upset to talk, all they may want to do is argue or fight. The best thing we can do is be quiet. There is nothing that will help if we are only yelling back, or more. As I said, it takes two to fight.
Again, praying and leaving the situation at the feet of Jesus, will also give us the strength we need to keep that quiet. One of the hardest things I, myself, have had to do is to shut my mouth when the argument arises. I’m also a person that will know a situation may cause a fight regardless of what I do to stop it, so I work myself up so bad, that if my husband says anything about him, I’m the one starting the fight while defending myself.
When we do these things we say so many things that are painful, hurtful, and are done intentionally to hurt the other person. Whether you mean it or not, it doesn’t matter, because you can’t take it back. And often these wounds are worse than being physically attacked. A bruise will heal, a lash emotionally and mentally may never heal.
So, to my friend, I told her the best thing to do is to pray for help in her marriage. Pray for help for her other half. Pray for strength and patience to get through these. Then, I told her to not react. That is the expected thing…the reaction to the dig, snide remark, or out right yelling.
And even when we do this behind closed doors, our children don’t just hear it. They feel it. They feel the intensity of all of it, and it does hurt them. Whether it is a broken heart from the situation, or even the feeling of needing to help the parent with no idea how to do so.
That old saying, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It brings up a brick wall. Your other half can try to start a fight, but without reaction, there really isn’t anything else to fuel it. They will likely continue for a while, to push those buttons. But, if we do not react, eventually they will get tired of it.
Once someone is done with that anger, they have room to think about what is really bothering them. They may come to a point where talking WILL help. And, when we keep quiet, instead of sniping back, it gives them a platform to approach us in a calm matter to talk. Maybe they need help. Maybe there is a deep underlying situation that needs resolved, or at least brought up, then they can be encouraged to get the help they need.
Anger is like quick sand. The more we wriggle and struggle in quick sand, the faster we sink. The more we feed the anger, the farther we sink into it bringing hatred and rage along with it.
Anger should be dealt with in some way, and not shoved down to eat at you. If you choose to bottle anger, it WILL come out eventually. It will be devastating, and is often directed at someone who has nothing to do with the cause of your anger. Therefore hurting other close relationships because of the blow up.
Working through anger is definitely a reason to see a professional. Because it can get off track quickly. However, that isn’t always an option. So we go to a friend or family member we can trust, and we vent and talk about it.
What can I do if I cannot get professional help?
Redirecting anger into a constructive activity is a great thing. I redirect my anger into writing, learning, and crafting or creating different things whether that is in my “office” (which is about anywhere in the house that I happen to do it, currently), or in my kitchen.
Some people exercise, some people scream out their frustrations, then turn it into a game that is fun for other people. There have been many ideas that physically releasing anger is good and bad. If out and hit a punching bag for five minutes, then come back to what is ailing you, you are most likely just feeding that anger.
However, if you go out and hit that punching bag for thirty minutes or more, and start using it as another spot to vent out those frustrations. Turn it into a fitness thing, or another fun activity, you can come back to what is ailing you with a different perspective.
The point is to get all the bad out-of-the-way, so that you can focus on what is more important. Like, why you love that person, and why you want to fix things.
To all of you out there with these kind of problems, say a prayer first, then get help. It doesn’t make you stupid or weak to get professional help. Or even to ask for help at all. It makes you human. Everyone has a breaking point. Everyone needs help sometimes. It makes us better to work through things, than to stew in that anger.
And, besides, if you are already at a volatile point, what will it hurt to get help? There are many ways to get marriage counseling, or counseling at all. Ask your pastor or minister at church. Or even a church friend. A parent or grandparent (if you are comfortable doing so). You’d be surprised to learn that there are many people who have had to get help themselves.
We get stuck in this perspective that we have to be perfect. Well, the only person that walked on this earth that was perfect was Jesus Christ. So, we need to stop chastising ourselves for not being perfect. We can work on bettering ourselves, but lets start setting realistic goals.
Also, marriage is not disposable. And, if you want to try to save your marriage, no matter how bad it may have gotten, there is NOTHING wrong with that. Actually, I think, if we all tried a bit harder to remember that marriage is not disposable, there would be less divorce out there. Marriage can be hard, but if we just give up without trying, then why did we get married to begin with. We cannot run from every problem we have in life. One day you will have to stop and face the music.
Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Or if you would like some direction, send me a private message. I’ll even research some good places for you to look into for help.