Two Ways to Prevent Angry Confrontations With Your Husband
Have your kids ever turned your words on you when you were having a “less-than-your-best” moment? My husband, Guy, and I were driving along the road discussing an issue we did not see eye to eye on. We thought we had fooled our toddler into believing we weren’t having an argument. Our voices were calm as we drove along the road and our toddler was settled comfortably in his car seat behind us. Still, he picked up on the tension and tone in our voices.
“Mom and Dad, take a deep breath,” he cautioned us.
The only comforting thing about his wise-beyond-his-years advice was that he was repeating what we had taught him when he gets upset! At least our parenting strategies were being taken to heart!
Convicted, my husband and I tabled our conversation for a later time. Over the years, we have learned that there are certain triggers that set us off but there are also “trigger moments” where we tend to be more sensitive to conflict. Guy and I have prevented many angry interactions with one another by doing two things:
1) Avoid Conversations During “Trigger Moments”.
Timing is everything when it comes to talking about issues that can trigger us toward anger. Identifying “trigger moments” is helpful to avoid the cycle of angry reactions in our marriages. For me and my husband, some of our trigger moments are driving in the car or when we are both overtired at the end of the night. These are times when we have less patience or emotional availability to talk through issues in a loving way. Examine your own relationship. Are there certain times of the day or situations that repeatedly lead to conflict? What are some healthier, lighter, things you can do during those time periods so that you don’t fall back into arguing? And when are better times to come together and work through any problems or challenges you are facing?
2) When we sense our tempers begin to rise, we commit to letting out spouse know that we can’t talk about the issue right now but we will talk later when we are both calm.
Sometimes, arguments crop up when we least expect them. By making an agreement with one another to delay the conversation, we respect our desire to confront one another and discuss difficult issues outside of the heat of the moment. We want to honor Galatians 6:1: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Even the most difficult of conversations should be done in a spirit of gentleness and humility. If that is not the tone of your conversation, then take a step away from it until you can come together with this heart attitude in place.
By identifying our trigger moments and by putting an agreement in place to stop heated conversations until we can both be calm and kind, we have replaced many of our angry reactions toward one another with more loving responses. Guy and I certainly don’t want to be taking lessons from our toddler, but God will use even our kids to get us back on track toward Godly attitudes and behavior, and for that, I’m thankful.
There were many years in our own marriage where I couldn’t imagine that we could get to the point where we are today--working together to improve our marriage and the way we interact with each other. If you find yourself in a similar position, I want to encourage you to begin with prayer. Pray that your spouse will begin to be open-minded about practices like the ones above, and allow God to work on your heart first. This simple prayer is a good place to start:
“Lord, I don’t want my marriage triggers to ruin our relationship. I desire to honor You and my spouse. Help me to be self-controlled and do the right thing on my end. God, please soften my heart, and my husband’s heart too. Unite us and help us not to argue in anger but to be willing to talk through problems with love and humility. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
Friends, marriage is not always easy, but when we commit to doing what is right on our end and become peacemakers, our relationships can move from triggered to triumphant!
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