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Knowbodies Purrfickt

By:  Donna Martin

Have you ever heard someone say, “I love him, but I really don’t like him”?  Perhaps you have felt this way about someone.  Was it your spouse?

Funny how love works.  When couples are first married they look ahead to a perfect life together.  They have visions of ultimate bliss.  They picture themselves facing the world together with never a care – always side by side – always in agreement.  They picture a fairy tale life in the future – a life that is easy and full of love and happiness.  They picture a perfect marriage.

However, because people are not perfect having a perfect marriage is pretty impossible.  At some time along the way spouses are going to disagree with each other, disappoint each other, and fall short of their expectations.   Conflict is inevitable in a relationship as close as marriage.

Conflict is not bad; in fact, conflict can make a relationship stronger.  The trouble comes when conflict is not resolved.  Too often couples try to avoid conflict, have different opinions about how to resolve conflict, or do not take the time to really listen and communicate with each other.  Each person wants to selfishly win the conflict instead of taking the time to work it out.  In a marriage conflict there should be no winners or losers.  Couples need to remember that they are on the same team.  If one person loses, so does the other person. 

Solving a conflict may not happen on the day it begins.  Ephesians 4:26 tells us, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” That is great advice, and if you can resolve a conflict on the day it begins that is great.  Sometimes, however, when tempers are high and hurts are deep, it is better for couples to take a time out and let their emotions calm down.  After both individuals have calmed down then they can set a time to come together to discuss the issue that started the conflict.

When couples approach conflict as a relation builder instead of a relation destroyer their relationship can grow and each spouse can become a more mature person.  Taking time to really listen and looking at something from another person’s perspective are the first steps to resolving conflicts. 

It is important to attack the conflict and not the person.  Really listen to the other person’s feeling and opinions.  Try to see things from the other person’s point of view.  Apologize for the part you played in the problem.  Together, make a list of ways that the issue can be resolved and decide on the best plan of action.

There may be days when you really don’t like the person you married.  Just as God gives us grace and forgiveness each day, we need to offer the same grace and forgiveness to our spouse.  Don’t walk out when life gets tough.  Roll up your sleeves and work together to work through your conflicts.  You will be glad you did, and so will your children.

The Martins are available to present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

A great book to help you understand your spouse and yourself.  Click below to order a copy.


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