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The divorce rate is somewhere around 50% and climbing.  For me, I think that is a bad (and certainly obvious) sign that people don’t take their marriage vows seriously.  Why do people get married?  They say they were in love…..at the time, and then things just started going down hill. Little quarrels over stupid things turn into arguments, and arguments turn into big fights that continue on and on until someone says DIVORCE.   To most people, divorce is the easy way out.  But why do we fight?

My husband and I heard a great sermon in church a few weeks ago about why spouses argue and fight with each other. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go preaching to you, but the pastor did make some very important points which I would like to share.  The word the he used was SELFISHNESS.  We are all selfish by nature.  The wife wants it one way when the husband wants it another.  Neither care about the other’s needs and this is where the arguments happen.

Is it possible to have a happy marriage? Yes!  But don’t go into a marriage thinking it will be all rainbows and flowers.  It takes work, hard work.  There will be a lot of sacrificing on your part (and your spouses) to make that happen.  You need to think of your partner’s needs….not yours.  Here are some strategies that I found to be helpful in maintaining a good relationship with your spouse.

Don’t put down your spouse outside the home. I’m sure you have heard your friends say “my husband never does…” or “my wife can’t do…” Sometimes we may be doing it without thinking, or we may do it because everyone else is doing it.  It is just wrong, plain and simple. If you really love your spouse, you will give them the highest respect when discussing them to your friends and co workers. BE AN EXAMPLE!  When you start talking about your spouse in a bad way outside the home, you end up bringing what you say inside the home.  Your negative views about them start to become deeper over time.

Don’t fight in front of the children: This one should be a no-brainer.  marital conflicts have a lasting affect on young children. When they see their parents arguing and fighting, they will learn that this form of behavior is what will solve everything. They begin to fight with their friends, start fights in school, and as they grow up they will continue a domino effect and fight with their own spouse.  In order for your children to have healthy relationships in the future, you need to have a healthy relationship in the home.

Don’t reverse the argument: I think most of us have had and argument that went like this;

Spouse 1 “I can’t believe you did that….”

Spouse 2 “Oh yeah? Well you really ticked me off when you did this….”

Spouse 1 “Oh really? Well, don’t forget the time you did that”….blah blah blah.

Whats the point in bringing up each other’s faults?   You will never solve the problem and this kind of arguing will only escalate into something worse.  If your spouse is upset with you for something, sometimes you need to accept the fault and just apologize.

Accept the apology: This one pretty much follows suit with what I mentioned above.  It is so easy to continue nagging after your partner apologizes.  You just want to drive it in their hollow little brain until they understand what you want, right?  You feel that they still don’t “get it” and you won’t leave them alone until they do.  This kind of tactic makes your partner feel that apologies mean nothing to you and will soon give up and think apologizing is a waste of time.  Com’on now, lets get real here.  If your spouse apologizes, he  or she is accepting the fault and does not want to argue anymore.  Even if you think they still don’t “get it, ” who cares. Here is where you think of your spouses feelings and put away your own. It’s called SACRIFICE.

Some other little tidbits…

Tell your spouse you are proud of them! My husband told me how proud he was that I have been doing great with taking care of the kids and working on my home business. He knows how tired and stressed I have been, but knowing that he understands makes me feel blessed.

Give them a hug everyday! I know it may seem obvious or just plain silly, but something like a simple little hug can make someone’s day so much better.  I love it when I have been having one of those “mommy freaking out” days and my husband comes over and hugs me. It is absolutely the best medicine!

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