Overcoming conflict in marriage is hard. Sometimes we don’t know what to do to a make amends when we’re wrong; other times, we struggle to forgive our spouse when we’ve been hurt. Conflict is complicated and complex, and it can be very painful.
Today we’re sharing three ways you can reconcile after a disagreement with your spouse.
Admit when you’re wrong–with NO excuses.
It’s not easy to muster up the courage to say, “I was wrong.” But if you know you’re in the wrong, it’s essential to admit it so that you and your spouse can move forward.
Refusing to admit a wrong and ask your husband or wife for forgiveness will do serious damage to your relationship. Pride has no place in marriage; we can correct our own mistakes by practicing humility and vulnerability.
There is a catch: when you apologize, you must be willing to say that you are sorry without making excuses for unacceptable behavior or shifting any of the blame to your spouse. Keep things simple; it’s best not to use any variation of, “I’m sorry I upset you, but…”
Owning your mistakes and your wrongs is hard, and it can be a very painful process. Take full responsibility for your own actions, and be honest with your spouse. It might take some time for your relationship to heal if the conflict was very intense or hurtful, but your willingness to be vulnerable and to own your mistakes will go a long way toward reconciliation.
Clear the air and let it go.
When you’ve had a disagreement (or even a misunderstanding)–especially a major one–it’s very important that you clear the air in a loving way. This process will look different for each couple, but it’s important for the two of you to come together (when you are both calm) to discuss what has happened.
Speak the truth in love to each other, and strive to hear one another’s heart in spite of the disagreement. Try to extend grace toward your spouse even if you strongly disagree with their opinions or perceptions–and do not attempt to force them to see your side of things.
It amazes us how many times we hear about couples who are deeply entrenched in conflict because of misunderstandings and poor communication. That’s why it’s so critical for you and your spouse to work together to create clarity and understanding.
When you’ve taken the time to communicate with one another–and, hopefully, to reach an agreement–move forward together. Holding a grudge against your spouse over past hurts will hinder your intimacy.
Do something enjoyable together.
During or after a conflict, it’s easy to withdraw from one another and “lick your wounds,” so to speak. But this is a time to draw closer, and to deepen your intimacy. Building invisible walls and retreating to your respective corners won’t help you to truly reconcile your relationship.
When you’ve had a fight, why not break the tension by doing something enjoyable together? It can be anything you choose. Sometimes a change of pace is just what we need to get past a major conflict.
Pick something positive that will help you feel closer as a couple, then do that together. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make!
Unresolved conflict can break a marriage (and unfortunately, it often does). Instead of withdrawing, becoming bitter, or getting even, focus on finding positive and constructive ways to restore your relationship. It’s vitally important that you and your spouse do everything you can to maintain a strong marriage and enjoy lifelong love.