Shortly after we became engaged, Joel and I had a college professor tell us to “never ever go to bed mad”. We have lived by these words ever since then. (Thanks, Steve!)
Now, your personalities may differ so much so that one of you wants to talk about the situation quickly and move on; or you may have the personality type that needs to go cool down or sort things out in your brain before addressing the other person.
That’s OK! It is hard to find common ground when a disagreement breaks out.
I am the one who always wants to address conflict right away and get it resolved as soon as possible. Joel likes to take time to cool off, work through his feelings, and even pray about his response to me before even speaking about the disagreement. Joel can have a temper sometimes. Now, he never has a temper toward me and that is why he walks away to cool off before we resolve our conflict. This drives me crazy sometimes, but I love that he has control over his temper and walks away before saying something that could potentially sound hurtful. I am so blessed that he has that quality! He has saved several tears from being shed and hurtful words that could have been be said.
Try to make an effort to resolve conflicts before you go to bed at night. Again, having different personality types is going to make this challenging. Guys, for the sake of most of us women, take the time to talk about conflicts before you doze off. Some of us women stew over conflict and we tend to stay up at night because we don’t have that closure. Make sure to speak words of affirmation after a conflict is resolved. Some women need those words to get some security back. Some men may need words of affirmation too, ladies. Tell each other that you love each other and work together to calmly work out conflict.
This also leads into another important practice and that is do not fight in front of your children. We have had several disagreements in front of our kids… but we have never yelled at one another in front of them. We don’t really yell at each other anyway because we try to respect each other and use calmer tones when speaking. I remember hearing my parents yell at each other. It wasn’t a pleasant noise. I promised myself I would never yell at my spouse and I think I have done a decent job at keeping that promise. Yelling doesn’t solve anything, really. All it does it escalate the situation and even prolongs you from wanting to listen to the other person. My point here is children listen to everything. Whether you want them to hear or not, they are listening. They will pick up and practice what they hear you and your spouse doing. Choose your words, tones, and actions wisely.
My challenge for you this time is to work on settling conflict the same day it happens. Work calmly with your spouse and behind closed doors if you need to, away from your children.