So yesterday morning…on the way to church…Mark and I got into an argument. Yes, the Marriage Monday people have conflict in their marriage…and yes, they have conflict even on the way to church.

We’re still not done with the argument yet, mind you.

Oh we’re on speaking terms…even went to a Christian concert last night…but we’re still navigating the conflict and we will until we find closure.  And that’s what today’s Marriage Monday is about…closure in conflict.

Mark says…
For years, Jill and I would have unsettled issues in our marriage.  We’d disagree, get angry, and truly end up no where better than where we started.

Jill says…
We’ve come to understand that we weren’t alone. Many couples deal with conflict and never get their disagreements settled…they just get swept under the rug.

Mark says…
Sometimes that happens when one person needs space or time to deal with their emotions. But when they are given space and time, they then don’t want to bring it back up for fear of more conflict.  Sometimes it happens because we simply don’t know how to have healthy conflict with appropriate closure.

Jill says…
Yes conflict can be healthy.  But not having closure erodes trust and weakens our relationship.  Closure is important for feeling heard and respected.  It also builds trust.

Mark says…
But what does closure look like in real life?  How do we get there?  Closure happens when both parties throw pride out the window, own their own stuff, apologize, and ask for forgiveness.  See why some couples have trouble getting there?  This is hard stuff!

Jill says…
Closure happens when we come to the understanding that we are on the same team.  Our goal is not to “win” the argument, but to communicate our frustrations, hear our spouse’s frustrations, and come to some conclusions together to help us move forward.

Mark says…
Here are some helpful tips for navigating conflict and finding closure:

  • Listen well. When your spouse is communicating their frustration to you, resist the urge to defend. Instead reflect back to them what they said to you.   This will help your spouse to feel heard and will keep the conflict at a conversation stage instead of an elevated argument.
  • Own your own stuff. Even if your spouse of 90% wrong and you are only 10% wrong, own your 10% (regardless of whether your spouse owns their 90%).  If you’re having trouble figuring out where you were wrong, ask God to show you.
  • Give a full apology. I’m sorry. + Will you please forgive me? = full apology.   Most of us stop after I’m sorry.  That’s a half apology.  Asking for forgiveness and being granted forgiveness is what will actually bring about the closure you both long for.

If you’re joining us today for the first time because of the Ultimate Blog Party over at 5minutesformom, welcome to real life!  We talk about it here…alot.  Every Monday we chat about marriage, and the remainder of the week we talk about mothering, parenting, living with less, home organization, and more!

Since today’s topic is marriage, I’m giving away 3 CD’s of a Hearts at Home workshop Mark and I have done called Love For a Lifetime.  I’d love to give away my marriage book Is There Really Sex After Kids? but it’s now out of print and we’re nearly out of copies at Hearts at Home.  However, I know there are still new and used books available on Amazon, if you’re looking for some great encouragement for keeping your marriage a priority in the midst of mothering.

To enter the drawing for the Love For A Lifetime CD, simply share one of two things: share one thing you do to resolve conflict in your marriage OR share one thing you are doing to nurture your marriage.  This way we can learn from each other and maybe win something!

Oh and by the way, congrats to Jen (happy little homemaker) and Stacy Sanders.  They both won a copy of Real Moms…Real Jesus from yesterday’s discussion.  I’ll send you both an email with directions for getting your book!

Speaking of Real Moms…Real Jesus, Hearts at Home is running a Mother’s Day special on this book for churches or moms groups who want to purchase the book as a special gift for Mother’s Day.  If you order 30 copies or more, we’re making the book available for $5 a copy!  Call 309-828-MOMS by April 25 to order your copies and have them delivered by Mother’s Day!

Now let’s get our discussion and giveaway started.  Answer one of these questions:

  • What is one thing you do to resolve conflict in your marriage?
  • What is one thing you are doing to nurture your marriage?

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