Marriage is beautiful, relationships are a great way of seeing ourselves through the lens of another person’s eyes. Many times, we only get to understand how our lifestyles and perspective affect other persons through our friends or spouse.
Fights are not abnormal
However, fights are completely normal in a relationship. Your parents had a different style of parenting from your spouse’s parents. You were raised differently from the way your spouse was raised. You may have been taught certain things a different way and you have a very unique distinct and independent personality before you met your spouse and decided to be joined together as one.
In some families, it’s completely okay to use another person’s belonging without permission, it is okay to do certain things a certain way and in another family, it is not okay at all. Once one person from both families is joined together, they will have to spend time learning themselves, how to cope with their differences and how to accommodate these differences.
Many people believe that before marriage, courtship is a time to learn the other persons. That is very true but you’ll never finish learning your spouse. How do you want to learn 30 years-old behaviour in just 2 years of dating and courtship? How do you expect someone who spent about 30 years doing something differently to quickly learn how to adapt?
Aside from family influence, we also grew up in different communities with a distinct culture, lifestyle and choices. For example, in Yoruba culture, people prostrate or kneel to greet their elders but in Igbo culture, people do not prostrate. Respect is seen in one’s voice tone and behaviours towards the elder. When one person from each culture comes together, they may find it a bit difficult adapting.
Various other things contribute to the lifestyle of people and this includes the kind of schools they attended, the kind of neighbours they had, the kind of close extended families they have and the kind of friends they had.
You must also understand that people do not change, people only grow and learn how to manage their behaviours. For example, a hot-tempered person will not become short-tempered overnight but he can gradually learn how to control his temper. Learning how to control his temper doesn’t mean he has developed short temper ability, it means he has learnt how not to act whenever he is angry.
It is all of these differences that cause misunderstanding and fights in marriage. Even animals fight especially when they are from a different community. Cats that grew up together are more likely not to fight but when you bring two cats that grew apart, a fight may likely occur.
Siblings who grew together always have differences which usually results in disagreement and fights talk more of couples who grew apart and have come to share a larger part of their lives.
Fight is not always the sign of lack of love, it’s not always a red flag. Separation is not also a way to stop fighting, getting to the root cause of the fight and dealing with it is how to deal with the fight.
However, when fights become consistent, it can birth troubles and ultimately bring an end to your marriage or relationship. When the cause of a fight is not dealt with, slowly but consistently, it will escalate and make peace harder to achieve.
How to deal with fights
1. Evaluate the situation
We are always tempted to see where our partner got it all wrong without trying to carefully evaluate the situation and also see where we got it wrong and what we need to change. We must learn to quietly and carefully evaluate every situation from a neutral perspective.
2. Stop taking criticisms personal
When your partner points out something he or she feels you aren’t doing right or they criticise you for something, don’t take it personal and don’t quickly become defensive. Note their observations and see how you can work on yourself.
3. Stay away and clear your head
When an argument begins to cross supposed boundaries, try to politely stay away from the scene. Make your partner understand that you need to clear your head. Don’t try talking out of boiling emotions because you may say things you’ll regret later.
4. Don’t argue via text, insist on meeting
Let’s say you were chatting with your spouse and argument ensued, don’t continue with the argument if you suspect it’s leading to a fight. Decide to meet your spouse face to face to discuss and settle your differences. Chances are that your partner will read other meanings into your chats.
5. Remember the good times
Sometimes, when we are fighting with our partner, it seems we have quickly forgotten how we met and the love we share. Always try to remind yourself of the good times during a fight. This will help you draw the line.
6. Come clean, hide nothing
People who hardly bare it out will hardly stay in a relationship when it becomes too heavy in their hearts. While temperament may contribute to our readiness to speak our minds, we must learn the art of saying how we feel exactly the way we feel. This way, we relieve ourselves the burden and it gives us insight on what to work on in our relationships.
7. Take a break
Taking a break doesn’t mean breaking up, it means staying apart for some time. You can decide to spend time with your immediate family or friends just to ease off any stress that may have been affecting your relationship. Sometimes, staying apart for some time also puts your love to test.
“I’m sorry” still works! Don’t let pride rob you of a wonderful relationship. Learn to apologize and sometimes even when you weren’t wrong! However, you don’t have to take responsibility for what you never did. When you say “I am sorry”, it could mean “I may not know where I got it wrong but I still want our marriage to work”.
9. Seek therapy
Seeking the help of a professional doesn’t mean you are clueless and can’t handle your marriage, it means you believe something can still work out and you want a professional to help figure out how to make it work. Therapists are not Judges, they are just third parties who know how to look at issues from a neutral standpoint and help you see it the same way.
Like we’ve seen earlier, fights are normal in a relationship because we are all from different background but it’s also a pointer that something needs to be fixed and if you truly desire your spouse and your relationship, you should work on it.