The Same Old Marriage Fights and How to Change

the same old marriage fights and how to change_thumb

 

Susan and I have been married 24 years. After so many years, you’d think we would have smooth sailing in our relationship all the time, right? Well, not really. We are two imperfect people who do not live a perfect life.  We still argue. And, more often than not, it’s usually about the same two or three things.  Here are some of our most common fights:

 

  • At times, Susan will say, “You always criticize me” or “You never encourage me.”  It really makes me angry when Susan exaggerates with words like always and never.   
  • Instead of me addressing an issue directly with one of our kids, I’ll often say things to Susan like, “They shouldn’t talk to each other like that” or “They need to finish their project.” And then I’ll ask her to handle it. That frustrates Susan a lot.
  • I want Susan to be more physically affectionate with me. She’s not as fired up about that as I am. Tension and arguments occur.

 

So, what can be done about the same old marriage fights? Here are some simple steps to take to break the cycle.

  1. Identify the root cause of the problem. Is your wife mad that you were ten minutes late getting home from work? Or is she really upset because she thinks your work is more important to you than she is? Be sure to identify what’s really bothering her and work to get to the bottom of the problem.
  2. Listen to your spouse. Sometimes a fight can be prevented by just listening to your spouse. Ask your spouse questions and then just listen. This will show her that you truly care.
  3. Empathize with your spouse. It is so important to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes in order to understand them better.  Feel what they feel so you can truly understand their side of the conflict, not just your own.
  4. Discuss what you can change.  Once you’re done listening and empathizing, be sure to ask your spouse how you can change to avoid the argument in the future.
  5. Take action. And take it seriously.  The fight may be over, but that only means it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action.  Make a serious effort to follow through with changes you discussed together.  One way to do this is to ask your spouse on a weekly basis, “How am I doing on this?”

 

What are some of your most common fights with your spouse and what are you doing to change that pattern? Please share with me below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • TuPie

    My spouse is always worry why I am coming home late from work at a certin time. I don’t like that as long I come home and it not real late then I understand. Like example I get off of work at 4:00 if I don’t get the bus at 4:10 the fan hit the roof. I work at my job and I always asking to do something at the last min hours. If I take the late bus at 4:30 then and still come home why trip off of me. He don’t want a phone to call why I coming home late. That not my fault he don’t so I can be able to call. Other thing when I want to do something for my kids he trip like other example I tool the bus and he call me and say wear are you I tell him I am on the bus and I said where are you and he said at the school and I said can’t be you are at a phone booth. Then he laugh but if I would said that he say your lie and playing game with me. That is when a fight start is ok with him but not me. He told me to wait for him and he was not there so I starting walking to the school then he started tripping because I was not there he should told me I am at the store wait for me when you get off the bus he was not there. No he said he was waiting for me and he was not there so I figure he was at the school like he said at first. Then he come pick me up at the school and let go we had a open house and just took off cause he mad I got my feeling hurt and was imbarressing of his action to have to leave the school. Didn’t see anything at all what my kids doing at a new school because he was mad at me thinking I got a ride up to the school. He always thinking I am doing bad or being with someone he a trip. Why? We been together for about 33 years and been marry for 22 years. Why now tripping off of me. I love him so much this man is my boyfriend husband friend I will never leave him for anything in my life he is my husband. Why he don’t understand that? We fight because of me all the time it me and blame it me never postive it always negative I just don’t understand we never fight when we had our children until the last 3 year now just punking at me most of the time I feel everything I do in not right for him complaining I cry ever day wondering why I am walking on shells don’t want to mess up we happy for at lease 5 days and he want to fight again then we happy then fight again can you tell me the answer my children see me not happy I feel our relationship is going down with commuacation and feelings. My still have hope and still have same feeling but I always hurt just hurt. please let me know what it could be. I still being strong and more hope. I know him and his action is just not him his voice and feeling to me I am hoping it can be right again some day! And show me he care and love me and like me still can’t change something is been there for a long time why change me now how you want me.

  • James

    The problem for me and my wife are and have always been sex. She says her desire for sex is once or twice a month, mine are 2-3 times per week. This has become such a strong issue with us that she has since filed for divorce and now claims that it has caused trauma for her and that she will never want to be physical with me ever again, so how can we save this marriage since sex is a part of marriage? Any answers? Help….

  • Lolly

    There are a few things GOD revealed to me early on in my marriage and I am so thankful He did. If there is strife in a relationship no one is happy…Strife to me is any unresolved argument. GOD showed me early on if it isn’t important enough to get a divorce over then it isn’t worth arguing about. This was not easy for me to learn or implement because we were both really young when we said “I Do” and I was ever so opinionated (and I still am). What GOD showed me was this, talk to my husband and if there was a disagreement on something, stop right there, before a fight breaks out. He taught me not to hold ANYTHING against my husband [Ephesians 5:22
    22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.] but to bring every issue to Him. In doing so I found my husband would come around to the way I saw things (without me trying to convince him or show him he was wrong). I would just submit to my husband, tell GOD what I wanted and saw was right and GOD would fix it for me! This is how I have handled my husband changing jobs, moving to another state, issues with family gatherings, buying vehicles, deciding where to go to church, money…you name it. Now my husband regularly asks my advice and USUALLY takes it. P.S. one mistake I see husbands making a lot is speaking harshly to their wives…ladies are the weaker vessel and the handle criticism from their loved ones differently then men do. If you want her to be more receptive to your advancements treat her tenderly like she is the apple of your eye <3 A women who is "Loved" gives ALL of herself and holds NOTHING back. Hope this is helpful to someone out there.

  • Timothy

    That tells me that two to three times a month your wife feels appreciated and communicated to in her terms. Read “the five love languages” and that’s a good place to start. Divorce isn’t a surprise type event, things have been bad and se has been unhappy for a while to the point that you don’t inspire her that things can change.

  • Chas

    Timothy is right. Sex is an expression of emotional connectedness Let me be blunt – do you realize what you are asking when you expect physical vulnurability of your wife? Have you loved, honored, cherished, and obeyed (met her needs) before and during? Are you emotionally vulnerable to her? Is she comfortable doing the same with you? If not, go to her on your knees James.

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Lolly, thanks for sharing…some good thoughts. I’m still working on being more kind and tender to my wife.

  • Integrity

    Wow! I am a woman and how could she not understand a man’s desire for sex? It’s flipped on my end I prefer 2-3 times per week and my husband is 3-4 times per month. Also a huge problem. He basis his love/affection based on my behavior.

  • Evon

    I looked through all the articles. This is really great advice, and there are many things I have tried. Divorce is bad, and not the first answer. Yet, any relationship can only get as far as the other person will allow. My husband does not take an active role in our marriage. What can I do?

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  • lady-t

    its not funny but I am a woman and I’m going through what you guys are talking about. I’ve been with my kids father 17 yrs. off an on…an married to him for 4 of those yrs an we are now divorce but is still trying. Sex is a issue…but when your doing everything your man should…than really what do you need him for….I have a toy that keeps me smiling an that’s sad. But know this…I have not given up on him cause I know it’s a solution to everything…just pray…God is the answer an faith is the key…to all success…

  • MPK

    Chas and Timothy I appreciate your comments but it really seems like that sort of thing is the first thing most people – most men – jump to when analyzing these kinds of situations. You could both be right on. But I’d assert that the physical relationship between husband and wife is incredibly complex and one cannot diagnose or make valid suggestions how to handle it from reading a comment in a blog like this. The two partners feeling “appreciated” is certianly a big part of it. But I think that sometimes a husband or wife determines that they just aren’t really that interested any more in being physically intimate with their spouse. And, libidos do vary and are not always the same in a person. Stress can affect that. Fatigue can affect that. And there are many more factors that play into it. Perhaps one or the other spouse begins to feel trapped. Which exascerbates the problem.

  • MPK

    James have you and your wife ever approached this issue with the aid of a Christian marriage counselor? If not that would be the place to start. But it may be too late if your wife has already filed for divorce. Although my wife and I do know a couple who are very good friends with us who went through something similar (the wife who was our church cook was involved with our pastor, and the husband was the chairman of the deacons). They survived it and, as far as we can determine, are doing better now. At least the wife is no longer involved with the pastor, as far as we know, and he has married another lady after his wife died from cancer.