My husband and I react differently whenever we get into a bad fight. He’s non-confrontational while I want it all laid out on the table even if raising one’s voice is needed. What can we do to get back to resolving the issue instead of leaving things unsettled?
Having fights can be seen either as an opportunity to learn, or if not handled properly, can “program” you both to do the same thing over and over again – even if it’s not helpful or healthy. A familiar saying goes “you must learn to face your problems”—yes! I agree with it and in the case of couples, “we must learn ways to face our problems as a couple” and there is no one formula for this. It helps to discover how your spouse looks at problems, how he reacts to them, how long it takes him to react, and most importantly, to note if problems lead him to pray.
Appreciating the way your spouse handle problems can be a crucial step to deepen your relationship as a couple. You may find that your spouse is non-confrontational because it’s possible that it is his way of trying to understand the problem or so that he will not say or do hurtful things that both of you might regret. Raising one’s voice during fights can never foster respect and might not work in the long run for a husband and wife relationship.
If the main goal is to resolve current or unsettled issues together, then focus on your aim! Resolve the issues together! Every fight, no matter how small or big is a brewing form of disunity, so the goal is to be united in resolving the issues, the best way to be united is to pray as a couple. Second is to enter into dialogue—the right posture is always to try to see where he or she is coming from, letting go of our position in the situation. Dialogue also encourages both spouses to ask the right questions so things can be clarified, giving each other the opportunity to listen.
The best indicator that it is resolved is when the same problems surface again! This is when you totally remember and lovingly remind each other that you now know how you will unite as a couple and face the problem together. In the end, the most concrete way of settling things is to actually invite your spouse to pray, start a dialogue, and face your problems with unity in mind.
I am non-confrontational too. I understand how my marriage can be better if I just take after other couples who have vowed to “not sleep on” any disagreement. But some people need to take a step back and discern how things can be resolved. It’s possible that your husband may not be good with words or he doesn’t want to say hurtful words or lose his temper.
Whatever happens, however, I believe that every marriage is a blessing. I understood it better when a priest reminded us that marriage is a vocation, a divine call to God’s service and to our Christian life. These fights are an opportunity for us to grow in our marriage. Our response to our spouse can either be loving or hurting, in the end, it might take either or both of us to forgive, and though we may only be looking at the final resolution, all along, God was using the events to make us realize so much more.
Finding resolutions when we fight means setting up channels and venues in your marriage to speak openly, to forgive, and to be ready to ask for forgiveness. Have a couple prayer time. Have weekly dates. In your prayer time, pray for how you want God to intervene in your marriage. During your dates, talk about how both of you would like to handle fights as they come. This is the time to ask why your husband is non-confrontational. Tell him you wish to understand his ways better.