Because our work (really it’s a ministry) involves promoting and supporting healthy marriages, some people look at Lamar and me and assume we have a perfect marriage. They think that everything with us is “peaches and cream” all of the time. And while our marriage is not perfect, it is good…no it’s great.
But, I would lying if I told you that Lamar and I agree on everything. I mean c’mon. We’re two individuals that have very different upbringings. And at the most basic level…I am a woman and he is a man. So of course we are going to see things differently from time to time.
And yes, we’ve read all sorts of books on marriage that teach us how to love and respect each other. And we’ve read books and articles on how to manage conflict, and what not to say in an argument. And we’ve been given all sorts of tips like: “never go to be d angry.”
And even though we are armed with all of those tools, tips and skills, we still have times when we don’t see eye to eye on things. And sometimes, there are differences that don’t get resolved right away. Sometimes it takes several sessions/discussions (who am I kidding….arguments.) And, it may take several days for us to resolve certain differences.
If you are not careful, these disagreements will be like termites, eating away at the foundation of your marriage.
So, here are a few things that I’ve learned to do when I can’t come to an agreement with my spouse.
Try to Put Myself in His Shoes 1 of 6
For most of the things that we disagree on, I find that we are both right…..but we just have different ways of approaching the situation. So, when we don't come to an agreement about something, I try to put myself in his shoes in an attempt to understand his perspective. This really helps me to loosen my grip on my position…and moves me closer towards a compromise. Photo Credit: Olga Sapegina
Take One for the Team 2 of 6
In your marriage, things are not going to go 100% your way all of the time. Sometimes you'll get your way. Sometimes, you will be able to come to a compromise (you give in a little…your spouse gives a little….you make it work for both of you.) But then, there will be those times that you will have to sacrifice for the common good of the relationship.
I love what relationship coach, Rahaman Kilpatrick said in a recent article I Did It My Way: How to Compromise in Your Marriage. He said: "And just like a kid, sometimes you're not gonna get your way…. but MAN UP! You're not a kid anymore. And where else in life do you get your way all of the time? Nowhere. So why would you expect to get your way all of the time in your marriage?" Photo Credit: Digimist
Keep Working on It 3 of 6
There are some things that you can't let go unresolved ….. as they will keep cropping up and keep nagging at you. So, every so often, I will bring those things up again. Note: this is where those tips and tools come in handy …as I have learned to pick the appropriate time to bring things up…and how to remain respectful….things like that. Photo Credit: LotusHead
Look at the Big Picture 4 of 6
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am loved. Lamar is a good husband, father, and provider. So when we can't come to an agreement on things (especially those things that make me angry) I remind myself that I have a good man in my life. And, it helps me to put things into perspective. Photo Credit: pugoodwins
Love Through It 5 of 6
Lamar has helped me with this one over the years. I used to try to hold a grudge for extended periods of time….especially when we did not really see eye to eye. But Lamar has always had the motto: "Its over…now give me a kiss." I used to really fight him on this: "Are you kidding…you are the last person that I want to kiss right now." But, now I appreciate that we don't let our differences keep us from loving on each other. Make it a habit of loving, kissing and hugging each other… even when you don't see eye to eye. Photo Credit: iofoto
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff 6 of 6
"Don't sweat the small stuff." "Learn to pick your battles." I'm sure people have given you that advice. It is all true. You have to be able to let some things go….and as I said above….look at the big picture. Photo Credit: Kurhan