If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
“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.”
Isn’t that the truth. Remember my filing cabinet full of ammo for future fights? I was really good at storing up hurtful things to say to MKB if we had a fight. And I never forgot a previous fight! I’d compile them all together & make sure I rehashed each one. Maybe it was my maturity level, we married in our early twenties, or maybe I knew I didn’t have a leg to stand on in the current fight, so had to bring up something I knew I was right about. Whatever the excuse, it was wrong.
To change this behavior I’ve had to learn that my love for MKB is more important. If I want to fight, I need to fight to have peace, kindness & understanding…things that are worth fighting for. It’s not worth while to me to fight with MKB over small things, or even big things for that matter.
Honestly, this Love Dare has changed a lot of my attitudes over night. I’ve noticed that even the little things MKB says or does, that used to drive me up a wall, don’t even phase me anymore! It’s actually getting harder to write about this challenge! Each evening I read the next chapter & think “Well, I’m already doing that for MKB! How will I write about it like it’s something fresh & new to me?” So I apologize if this is getting stale for you. It’s feeling a bit stale for me! I did not expect this challenge to make such a difference in me, let alone for it to work miracles within a week & 1/2!
After saying all that, I did learn something new in this chapter. These little nuggets are what keeps me reading! Do you have fighting rules? We don’t. Never even thought about setting up boundaries for fighting because being the Polly Anna that I am, I never thought we’d fight over much because we are pretty compatable. Boy was I wrong.
Here is a suggested list of boundaries to use when you fight:
- Never mention divorce
- Don’t bring up old or unrelated items from the past (cough, cough, SJB!)
- Never fight in public or infront of our children
- Call a “Time Out” if the fight escalates to a damaging level
- Never touch each other in a harmful way
- Never go to bed angry with each other
- Failure is not an option. Whatever it takes, we will work this out
I think we’ve all heard #6. It’s always mentiond at bridal showers when we are all asked to give the bride-to-be advice on what makes a happy marriage. But my dad had a good point on this one. He said at his age, if they go to bed angry with each other, by time he wakes up in the morning, he’s forgotten why they were mad at each other & are starting over with a clean slate each day. Ha, ha! I kinda like that! So obviously, take this list as a guide, but do take a look at it & sit down with your spouse & make up your own Rules of Engagment. I am going to do it with MKB. Even though we’ve been married 16 years, it’s never to late to implement new tools into your marriage to make it better!
Love Dare #13
Love Fights Fair
Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate isn’t ready for this, then write your own personal rules to “fight” by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Are ya looking forward to your next fight just so you can use your new tools? 🙂
I get to end this post with another amazing transformation story! This morning MKB sent me a text asking me out on a date for Saturday night. I don’t remember the last time he has asked me out on a real date! He said he saw the movie Lincoln was coming to our theater & thought of me since I am a history nut. Isn’t that sweet? I thought so! I can’t wait for Saturday night! 🙂
Til next time, kids…