Only couples in fairy tales live happily ever after. Marriage between two flesh-and-blood humans is bound to have its share of disagreements. Resolving conflicts, not avoiding them, is the key to strengthening your marriage and your faith.
Our Gainesville counseling staff has helped numerous couples learn to deal with their differences. Here are some of their top tips for weathering conflict in marriage and coming out stronger on the other side.
Understand and Accept Your Differences
"Opposites attract" became a cliche because it's true. We're frequently attracted to people who add some variety to our life. When those differences begin losing their charm, accept them as part of God's larger gift to you.
In marriage, it's no longer all about you. Jesus teaches us that giving up our will to Him allows us to do the same with our spouse in order to achieve true oneness.
If you respond to conflict by withdrawing into yourself, anger and hurt feelings will feed on themselves until they consume you. Be humble enough to set aside your emotions and take the first step toward resolving disagreements.
Learn to Forgive
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us God will forgive us as we forgive others. Learn to forgive your spouse, not with lingering resentment and bitterness but with an open and loving spirit.