Why do we have serious fights about silly things?
Ever felt like you and your spouse fight about the most ridiculous, silly things? Well you’re not the only ones! Today we’ll tackle this question, but first we have a few other questions that may sound familiar:
- Do you think appliances should go ON the counter or below the counter (take them down with each use)?
- Whose job is it to clean out the shower drain?
- How do you decide where you’re going to dinner on date night?
There are lots of silly fights – in fact, one of the top fights couples have is over household chores!
The Tension: Silly fights can cause serious damage.
All couples have silly fights, but they build up and can create real problems.
But here’s the truth: Our spouses don’t bring out the worst in us, they reveal the brokenness in us.
When your spouses’ reaction doesn’t match the situation, that’s where there’s some pain or damage. That’s where you can meet them and be their relationship hero.
But let’s turn it around – What are some situations that cause you to overreact?
- CJ: When technology (i.e. the internet) doesn’t work
- Afton: When I walk in the house at the end of the day and it’s messy
- Ted: When I feel misunderstood by Nancie
So, what do you do the next time you feel your spouse is overreacting to a situation?
Your one simple thing this week: Change your reaction.
Make a micro-move in their direction and change your negative response to a positive one. It may not feel natural, but will have a big impact.
Some of our tips for changing your reaction:
- If we could all treat our spouses as well as we do our co-workers, it would make a big impact. Use the same people skills you use with coworkers with your spouse!
- Think about a younger version of them – it softens your heart toward your spouse and what they’ve gone through growing up.
- Ask yourself, what is the most helpful reaction right now?
What are some ways we’re going to work on changing our reactions this week?
- Afton: When I feel like my emotions are so heightened that they’re not helpful, I’m going to take a breath and look for ways to react in a reasonable way.
- CJ: Ask for a do-over in the moment – literally out loud, pause the situation and ask for a do-over.
- Ted: Lean in when Nancie is reacting and try to understand what she’s feeling. Ask her “Do you want me to fix this or feel it?”.
Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you think. And you can have less moments of awful and more moments of awesome! If you want more resources, check out our blog at MarriedPeople.org.
We also hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.
Finally – join us next week when we ask the question “Is having fun in your marriage extra or essential?”