When you have a disagreement in your marriage, you should have one goal and one goal only, to win! Yes, after the dust settles you should be able to feel like “this was a clear victory.” I’m sure somebody has told you otherwise. Clearly, chalking up a “W” at the end of a disagreement with your spouse is not what your intent is supposed to be. After listening to our marriage mentors teach us about solving disagreements, I now have a different opinion.
3 Ways to Win Every Disagreement in Your Marriage
In this article:
- What defines winning the disagreement?
- Feeling loved and appreciated post-conflict.
- Embrace your differences.
- Learn from your differences.
- Celebrate your differences.
What defines winning the disagreement?
One of the first things that changed my perspective was defining what a win was when it comes to disagreements.
If you and your spouse disagree on how to do something, then have a discussion (or argument), and if the result is you do it how you suggested, then you win, right? No, winning the disagreement has nothing to do with whose way, or point of view was used.
Winning a disagreement in marriage has to do with coming out on the other side with both people feeling better about themselves and the marriage.
Winning means resolving the conflict so that both of you feel loved, and appreciated.
Feeling loved and appreciated post-conflict
I’ve never been a fan of conflict, and I admit I have tried my best to avoid or ignore it. But what I’ve failed to realize is there is a lot of good which can result from conflict if it is handled in a healthy way.
This happens when three things are present in the disagreement. Both husband and wife embrace the differences which led to the disagreement. They learn from their differences, and they celebrate the differences. Embrace, learn and celebrate.
Embrace your differences
When you and your spouse embrace each other’s differences you create a safe place. The biggest challenge to conflict resolution is one person (or both) doesn’t listen. In order to embrace your spouse’s differences, you have to listen to them.
Most people avoid conflict all together because they don’t feel safe. They feel their view will not be respected, considered, or even heard at all. Embrace the fact that you and your spouse are different, and you will sometimes (many times) have different opinions.
Learn from your differences
I began playing basketball when I was around 3 years old and went on to play college basketball. I have played on a lot of teams, and on all of them, I noticed almost every player had a different skill set.
They had different strengths, different places they liked the ball, and even different areas where they struggled. But knowing these differences, and how they compliment each other led to winning games and championships.
The same occurs in marriage, as we have differences with our spouses. If you embrace them and learn from them, you can better understand how they can help you grow and grow your marriage. You’ll truly be winning in marriage when you do this.
Celebrating your differences
I’ve known my wife for more than half of my life. And I’ve told her many times that I am still learning new things about her. …New things that intrigue me, and make me love her even more. When you experience that WOW moment with your spouse, even after knowing him/her for 20+ years, its an amazing thing.
That is the product of embracing your differences and learning from your differences. New stuff is discovered, and new stuff worth celebrating because it helps you grow as a couple.
You can now win EVERY disagreement in marriage
That is the blueprint for winning disagreements in marriage. The way you know if you won is how you both feel after its over.
If you feel loved, and if you feel appreciated, you got that “W.” If either is absent, think back and see if both of you embraced, learned from, and celebrated your differences. Then proceed to winning in marriage!
BMWK – How has your view of disagreements and conflict changed over the years?
Editor’s Note: BMWK originally published this post on October 9, 2013. We have updated it for quality and relevancy.