Fight Fair

All couples fight. But how you fight can mean the difference between a minor disagreement and major damage. Healthy couples fight for resolution, not for victory. Conflict isn’t a relationship killer all by itself. But here are four warning signs that you may not be handling conflict in a constructive way:

1. Criticism

Are you using disagreement or conflict as an opportunity to criticize your spouse? Or are you guilty of criticizing them in front of other people? Criticism is a warning sign that you’re fighting against each other instead of for the relationship.

2. Contempt

Contempt is one of the most accurate indicators that a marriage is heading off track. Even if it’s never expressed in words, a disgusted glare, an exasperated eye roll, or a snarky mental remark is still a big red flag.

3. Defensiveness

Right now — when you’re not in the middle of a fight — you have to admit that defensiveness is not something that you’ll probably be able to see in yourself once your feathers are ruffled. You’ll have to choose to listen when it’s pointed out to you.

4. Stonewalling

If your spouse won’t seek God with you, don’t let that stop you. Your spouse is not your enemy. We only have one enemy. And he’s a thief and liar who never fights fair. Don’t fight each other. Get on the same team, and fight off the spiritual issues like pride and a hard heart that sabotage your relationship.

Let’s pray together: Jesus, please help us to keep conflict from driving a wedge into our marriage. Help each of us lay down our pride and address our own issues with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Help us commit to fight in a way that brings restoration and resolution. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Provided by Zondervan, HarperCollins, and

Written by Allison Levy


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