No one enjoys talking about the dark days of marriage, the days you have to fight to stay above water even though it feels like all you'll ever do is drown. It is somewhat depressing to admit you are fighting with the one person you are meant to be the happiest with. Isn't marriage supposed to always be filled with sugar, rainbows and butterflies? Yes it is supposed to, but it isn't always.
Marriage is filled with love, hatred, jealousy and joy. It is filled with the warmest hugs and the fights that cut the deepest. Just as love and light in a marriage is inevitable so are the weathering effects of common everyday fights.
Here are ten of these inevitable fights that will test the strength of any marriage:
Strong marriages last when the budget is kept and the wallet is safe. Set a specific time aside where you and your spouse can sit down and discuss how you want to deal with your expenses. Set a clear and concrete budget that the two of you can agree and abide to. Set specific amounts you would like to spend on groceries, leisure activities, gas and clothes.
Being intimate with your spouse should be a special time set aside for you to bond and draw closer together, but lack of communication regarding expectations can lead to avoidable fights with your spouse. Be open about your expectations and work together to find a compromise that works and fulfills the needs of each individual.
People fight for things they love most, and when it comes to kids both husband and wife will fight to the death. It is a good thing to have two parents devoted to the well-being of their children, but take time to develop compromising solutions. Approach fights with a "I need your help deciding the best way to handle this..." This allows both sides to feel appreciated and included in decision making.
4. The Past
The past is the past, shouldn't it be kept there? Habitually couples tend to hold what has happened in the past against their spouse. It is the same old fight over the same old incident. Strong marriages take the fights from the past and use their lessons to strengthen their future.
Planned speeches with set points of discussion and premeditated rebuttals are a dangerous line to walk on. Without even knowing, you have created a toxic fighting environment that is based more on how you fight instead of what you are fighting about.
Create an environment that allows each individual to speak their peace and be respected for their point of view. Listening, pondering and articulating a well thought-out response to your spouse's argument will help you create a conversation that is effective and supportive.
There are multiple fights centered on religion that can occur in a marriage: who is more faithful, what religion their children should be raised with, what standards and values should be maintained in the home, and in some cases, which religion is the proper religion when each spouse belongs to separate denominations.
The important note to remember when fighting about religion is the focus on drawing nearer to God. Each individual has a unique relationship with God, and when you focus on strengthening that relationship your connection with your spouse will be stronger as well.
7. How to spend leisure time
Making plans together is HARD. One person wants to go bowling; the other wants to go shopping. It is a never ending spiral of not knowing what to do to please both parties. Compromise is key. Listen to each other's wants and needs and develop a plan to appeal to both parties.
8. Fight over nothing
The fight over 'nothing' is usually a fight over everything. This fight often occurs after a passive aggressive comment has been uttered and the slightest jab of angst tips the scales pouring out an argument laden with all the little things that have been bothering the individual all at once.
Soon your comment turns from "Why can't anyone else take out the trash?" to a full-fledged fight over ten other things that have been festering just below the surface. Do not allow the little things to boil and stew until they become an explosive release of built-up tension.
Who is the better spouse? It is a fight no one wants but everyone inevitably faces. Each spouse deep down desperately desires to be the favorite parent, cool neighbor and best employee. It is a constant battle of improvement that wears and whittles on your power stance in the relationship. Remember you are each other's allies not enemies.
What are your priorities? What are my priorities? What are our priorities? These questions often lead to specific fights that question the intentions of each partner. Together people fight to find the balance required to maintain equal priority on things that matter to both parties.