Not only do you need to know your love language, but you also need to know your Conflict Fighter Language. How you fight and confront conflict is just as important as how you love. The way you fight and confront conflict may be what is disrupting your love connection in your marriage. Believe it or not, conflict can bring about closeness in marriage if done properly. Conflict allows you and your spouse the honest opportunity to deal with marital issues.
Fighting is Passionate Communication
How men and women understand and verbalize conflict is inherently different. Until we understand the language of conflict, we will not be able to resolve the issues in our marriages. Not only do you need to know your Conflict Fighter Language,but you also need to know your spouse’s as well. If both of you know and use properly the Conflict Fighter Language of each other then you will not have to have explosive arguments continually, but rather you will know how to communicate more effectively the issues of your marriage.
Women: Feelings vs. Commands
Women are led by emotions in most areas of their lives. This is also true when it comes to conflict. Women want to be felt and heard from the heart when dealing with conflict. The most effective way for a husband to be able to communicate with his wife is through the area of emotions and feelings. Although this is the complete opposite of how men view communication and conflict, men tend to look at this from the angle of commands and not feelings.
Husbands, it does not matter when loving your spouse how you interpret love, communication, and conflict, what matters is you being able to put yourself aside and focus on them and their needs. When we only focus on how we do something and want something then we are selfish. Marriage is about sacrifice, and not selfishness!
Men: Command vs. Feelings
Men are led by commands (actions) that are tangible and can be gauged by achievement in the various areas of their lives. This is very true in the area of conflict. Men hate emotions and feelings being the driving force of any conversation. The most effective way for a wife to communicate with her husband is not to allow her emotions and feelings to lead her, but rather focus on the issue at hand, and to bring tangible action steps to resolve the issues.
Wives, I am not telling you not to feel or be emotional, but don’t let your words be only feelings and emotions when dealing with your spouse. Put your feelings and emotions aside and focus on what your husband is saying and not interpret everything as “hurt feelings” and as him being insensitive, but rather he is just direct and deals with the issues head on and not heart on!
The Five (5) Types of Conflict Fighters:
The Confronter is one who uses a tell-it-like-it-is approach when dealing with conflict. The Confronter is good in that they do not allow issues to linger and they are not afraid of admitting that something is wrong in the relationship. Confronters don’t allow simple things to become terminal because they confront them at the onset.
The problem with the Confronter arises in that they tend to confront the individual rather than the issues, and they tend to think everything that their spouse does is a problem. The Confronter has to learn that some things are not issues and that they need to get over them rather than confront them.
The Closet Confrontation Fighter allows issues to lurk behind the scenes of closet doors. The out-of-sight-out-of-mind and sweep it all underneath the rug mentality. There actually is no confronting of issues. When the Closet Confrontation Fighter finally and actually does say something, it is explosive because they have suppressed their feelings for so long. They bring up stuff from the past and become very accusatory of many things. They also tend to blame their spouse for everything.
The closet fighter tends to think they are doing their spouse and marriage a favor by not stirring the hornet’s nest of issues and just letting things ride when they don’t like something. This is good in moderation, but in the end, it can be detrimental. A closet fighter can come across as one who is dishonest because they are not truthfully sharing how they really feel about the marriage and their spouse.
The Controller has a no-holds-barred stance when dealing with conflict, and they dominant the entire conversation. They also resort to bullying when they confront issues. They are very accusatory when they communicate. They only tend to say, “You_____________ rather than I or we. They tend not to take responsibility for their own actions, but always make their spouse feel at fault. They also resort to yelling a lot, standing or towering over their spouses, and getting right in their face to dominant.
The Competitor is one who would rather be right than actually resolve the issue at hand. The competitor is only concerned with getting their point across and approved as the right idea. The competitor is selfish in that they are not concerned with their spouse’s point-of-view. A competitor is the person who stands in front of the mirror and practices what they are going to say. It is all about winning and not getting to a place of agreement and resolution.
The Crier does the Bait-&-Switch method when it comes to deflecting and transferring emotions to their spouse. The crier tries to use excessive emotions to bring an end to a conflict or not to have the conversation at all. The crier makes it all about them, stresses how mean their spouse is, and accuses them of hurting their feelings. The crier tends to play the victim role rather than trying to achieve victory for the marriage. Although it is good to show passion and emotion when communicating, the crier takes this to the extreme and uses their emotions to their advantage.
Love Assignment: This week identify your Conflict Fighter Type. Take a good assessment in how you can improve your communication skills when dealing with conflict in your marriage. Next, ask your spouse their Conflict Fighter Type and how you can better communicate with them so that you can have conflict that brings closeness rather than division.
Stand In My Shoes: Try this method to better understanding your spouse. Seriously, literally get a pair of your shoes out, put them by your spouse’s feet, and then allow your spouse to put their shoes by your feet. Look at and examine the differences that you and your spouse bring to your marriage. The uniqueness of both of you is what makes your marriage strong. Understand that you can’t fit your spouse’s shoes (role/place) and they can’t fit yours, but together you both make the perfect fit.
*Remember, the next time you want to judge and criticize your spouse rather than understand them and make resolve of your issues then you will have to walk in their shoes.
In our final installment of this
series, we are going to talk about the overall most important aspects of the
marriage. The first two weeks we talked about the overall needs of the spouses,
but today, we will talk about the overall needs of the marriage. In order for
success to happen in the totality of your relationship, each spouse has to meet
the needs of the other spouse and the marriage. Some may be confused as to what
the difference is.
There will be days that you do
not like your spouse, but you are committed to the vows of marriage. Marriage
is a covenant, and according to the very definition of covenant especially in
biblical terms, it can only be broken in death. Nothing should break a covenant
and a covenant stands no matter what, and the only release is death. So, when
life gets hard and you and your spouse can’t agree, lean on the covenant
promises of your marriage vows.
Marriage is the habitation,
atmosphere, commitment, and the home of the relationship. Marriage is the house
that your relationship lives in. Marriage is your Residence! Even when you or
your spouse don’t, can’t, or even mess up meeting each other’s needs, you still
remain committed to the marriage and the person. Each spouse’s needs are their wants
and desires, but the marriage is your foundational covenant promise that you
The vows that you made on your
wedding day, you first made them to God. Yes, you made the promise to God to
commit your life forever to the person you have chosen to marry. When hardships, selfishness, trials,
financial woes, infertility, distractions, and just life cause you to be
distant and pulled away emotionally from your spouse, then remember the
marriage. Remember the vows, remember the promises, and remember your
commitment! When you remember something, it is more than just a thought, but it
is an action of doing something!
You can’t change your spouse, but
you can change the atmosphere of your marriage by staying faithful to your
commitment and meeting your spouse’s needs on a daily basis. You and your
spouse might get sick, go broke, and have bad days, but that does not mean your
marriage has to be sick, broken, and bad! Remain committed and God will Reward
The Needs of the Marriage:
Spiritual Commitment: Each spouse must be committed to the
spiritual aspect of their marriage, first on an individual basis to their
personal relationship to God, and then to the spiritual atmosphere of the
marriage. Commit to praying together,
doing a devotion, going to church, joining a marriage ministry, going to a
marriage conference, and especially having a spiritual couple to mentor you.
The key word to the spiritual commitment is devotion. Setting time a part to
make sure you ask God into the life of your marriage daily.
Family Commitment: Both
spouses have to be committed to raising their kids together. There should be an
agreement that no one parent does it all. You are to parent together and spend
quality family time each week. Commit to eating dinner together throughout the
week. Commit to family schedules. Be present it the home and at the kids’
school and extracurricular events. Especially commit to doing family night
without electronics, get the conversation started at your home with your kids
and find out what is going on in their lives.
Purpose Commitment: Every person has a purpose and so does every
marriage. It is not just to be happy, but your marriage has a bigger impact to
make on the world and to leave a legacy. You and your spouse should have a vision/mission
statement for your marriage. When you have a set vision and mission, you will
see the dreams of your purpose fulfilled. Your marriage should be one that
gives back and inspires others. What is
the purpose/significance of your marriage?
Love Assignments: (1) Commit to praying for your spouse this week.
Send your spouse a spiritual/inspirational card, email, letter, or devotion
this week. (2) Have family night
this week…eat at the dinner table, talk, play games, watch a movie, and get
reconnected with your kids. (3) Ask
your spouse, “What are your dreams?” Moreover, write them down. Write-out a
vision/mission statement for your marriage. Define the purpose/significance for
your marriage and start living it out! Find a way for the two of you (your
family) to be a blessing to another family this week!
“Marriage is where His Needs
& Her Needs become Our Needs & Commitment”
Marriage is not 50/50… it is 100/100! You have to give
a hundred percent (100%) in order for marriage to work and for it to be
fruitful and satisfying. Even when we go over the list of His Needs & Her
Needs this is not a license for you to say, “My Wife didn’t give me sex last
night, so I don’t have to give her meaningful conversation and affection
today!” Moreover, “My husband didn’t give me loving security so I am definitely
not going to have sex with him tonight and meet his needs!” Marriage is
Sacrifice; it is sometimes giving when there is nothing given back in return.
Marriage is managing and having realistic expectations!
Yes, I am saying that if your spouse does not fulfill
your needs, you still have to fulfill theirs. I know that hurts, but how much
more will your marriage suffer if both of you gives nothing? Keep loving,
praying, and giving to your spouse and being the best example you can be. Soon
they will have to return love for love.
If each spouse seeks to meet the other’s needs and not
focus on getting his or her own needs met, then marriage would be completely
satisfying. Even if your spouse messes up when they are trying to meet your needs
still praise their efforts. We are all students of love. No one is an expert,
but every day we must be willing to show up and learn more than the day before.
From this day forward, express to your spouse your needs, but Focus on meeting their needs.
Love in Marriage is Living Out What You have Learned
about your Spouse!
Love Assignment: This week take the conversation outside! Go for a
walk, sit on the patio, or do a picnic in the backyard or the park. Get out and
talk it out!
To Make His Wife Happy
Domestic Partnership: Many of you probably saw that men and women
both want domestic partnership and thought, “we match on something!” Wrong!
Yes, we all want the outcome of domestic partnership, but how we get to it as
men and women is totally different. A man’s idea of domestic partnership is a
well managed home that is clean with well-behaved children. It is a need that a
husband comes home to a safe haven (castle), and not a torture chamber.
Now women want the same thing,
but not the overwhelming responsibility of having to do it all by themselves.
Here lies the difference between the two: men want it, but women feel they have
to do it by themselves. So in order to have domestic partnership husbands and
wives must work together in managing and achieving a prosperous and peaceful
home. Women want men to help and take the initiative to making their home the
best it can be by cleaning, cooking, and managing with the kids.
Allow Him to Fail! What? Yes! A man wants to be made to feel he is
a man and that means even when he has failed at something. It is not the
failure that destroys him, but your lack of support and loyalty to him after
the failure happens… the most important thing for him after a failure is your
being there. He can lose it all, but he can’t lose you, your support and
loyalty. He needs to know that you are there no matter what. Men do not want to
know that you are only there for what
they do, but rather for who they are! He wants you to be there
because of him, not what you get from him.
To Make His Wife Happy: This may shock wives, but yes, your husband
wants to make you happy… but he does not know how all the time! A man’s heart
is to meet the needs and desires of his wife. Wives have to express what they
need from their husbands without the overwhelming pressure of perfection. Men
have to make an effort and not always wait on their wives to tell them what to
do. A man’s greatest disappointment is disappointing the woman he loves.
Love Assignment: Wives this
week don’t focus on the faults of your husbands, encourage him even when he
fails, and show him tangibly and with words of affirmation that you are loyal
and supportive of him. Make your home a castle and safe haven for your husband.
Ask him what you can do to make your home better and do it for him. Wives be
rest assured that one of your husband’s greatest need and desire is to make you
happy. Help him and yourself to get to happiness!
Security/Trust: Women have to know that they are a priority and a
purpose in the life of their husbands. Women have to feel needed, taken care
of, and provided for by their husbands. Not so much from a monetary sense, but
from a sense that your life is more with them in it than it would be without
them. A woman has to feel she can trust you and that you will be there no
matter what. If she gains 20 pounds, gets wrinkles (aging), gets sick, or
whatever calamity that happens a woman has to trust that you are a man of your
word and vows.
When you married your wife, you
gave her the validation that you wanted to marry her, give her your last name,
and spend the rest of your life with her. Women need this validation beyond the
wedding day; we have to have it in marriage… to know that we are still the One!
Romance: Women have to hear, “I Love You” and have to have
expressions, gifts, and acts of service that express love on a daily basis. Men
would be shocked to know that it is not the grand gifts or grand moments, but
rather daily thoughtfulness that counts the most. It is the loving intentions
of a man to make a woman smile and make her feel loved that matters most.
Love Assignment: Husbands give
your wife a day off from domestic (household) chores and duties. Give her a
free day. Also, ask your wife what chore you can do to help around the house
weekly. Make sure your wife knows you love her and that she is a priority in
your life. This week set your schedule around the needs of your wife showing her
that she matters most. Always be a man of your word and vows. Be romantic and
give gifts and compliments this week. Do something you have never done before
this week for your wife.