You Always, You Never

19 May

I read something recently that I saw on Pinterest under “100 ways to make your marriage rock.”  And it hit me- right square in the gut.

I don’t just have a good marriage, I have a GREAT marriage.  Before you gag yourself and roll your eyes, remember my GREAT marriage is based on MY definition of GREAT and that doesn’t mean we don’t fight, have differing opinions at times, struggle to meet each others needs and both still make a lot (A LOT) of mistakes.  I didn’t say we have a perfect, flawless, sinless marriage… it’s just GREAT. 

After reading through the Top 100 things, which I LOVED them all… one stuck out more than any other.  Mostly because I needed to hear it.

Fight fair- never say “You Always or You Never.”

Before I dive into my point further, let me make a side note here.  It did not read “Do not fight.”  I firmly believe fighting in marriage is a very good thing.  If and ONLY if, you can learn how to do it constructively and stay on topic.  Some people look at the term “FIGHT” and see it as destructive and maybe even I’ll go so far as to say “evil.”  I don’t think that is always the case.  I think a fight can be two mature adults bringing forward a well thought out and constructively spoken point of view and the two work together to “fight” their way to a solution together.  I see the term less as fighting to hurt each other and more as fighting for your marriage to keep your unity alive.

OK- back to my original point.

I’m admitting here, I’m the queen of “You always & You never.”  And my husband has pointed this out before.  Have you ever had a silly “ah hah” moment when someone else says something to you even though you already knew it and already heard it before?  Some how this time when I heard it, it stopped me in my tracks.

Let me give you some examples. 

You Never do this for me even though I do this for you.

You Always remember to do the things that are important to you but forget to do what is important to me.

You Always say stuff like that but I’d Never say/do that to you.

You Never help do this even though I Always do xyz for you.

Can you relate?  Two really awful things happen when I fight this way. 

1.) We get off topic.  Instead of keeping the fight on the topic, we have to talk about all the times we have always/never done all sorts of things for each other.

2.) I’m starting to change the goal of the fight from fighting for our marriage to keep our unity, to winning the fight.  It has become less about making sure we find a resolve that we both appreciate and understand and more about making sure I prove my point so I’m right and he’s wrong.

After almost 10 years of marriage, I resolve to stop fighting this way.  I’m forfeiting my You Always/You Never habits and learning how to fight fair.

Practical application:  Stop saying it. Talk to my husband about my desire to stop doing this and ask for his accountability.  Should the words slip out (cause they probably will in the beginning) agree that even though the discussion is heated, I’ll stop, re-think and rephrase what I really want/should say.

 

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4 Responses to “You Always, You Never”

  1. smithspirations May 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I like to refer to these moments as “intense fellowship”! I like your thought on fighting to be fighting to keep unity in the marriage. Very insightful!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Being right, being wrong, being loving « Smithspirations - December 18, 2012

    […] unity in our marriage. As my friend Kayla addressed once on her blog Lessons of Mercy, the benefit of the conflict and discussion is forfeited when that happens. Rather than keep my mind focused on redeeming the love and unity […]

  2. Making two arguments that didn’t turn into a fight. « Lessons Of Mercy - February 14, 2013

    […] When I need to say something, refrain from using the words ALWAYS or NEVER.  I wrote a post on this before that is really worth reading here. […]

  3. Being Right, Being Wrong, Being Loving - February 19, 2015

    […] unity in our marriage. As my friend Kayla addressed once on her blog Lessons of Mercy, the benefit of the conflict and discussion is forfeited when that happens. Rather than keep my mind focused on redeeming the love and unity […]

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