Is All Conflict Bad?

marriage, conflict, arguments
Imagery Majestic Free Digital Photos
Is arguing a sign of a bad marriage?    

No. Arguing is not a sign of a bad marriage. As the old adage goes: “If the two of you agree on everything, then one of you is unnecessary.” 

It’s natural and healthy to have differences of opinion and even have conflict from time to time. But healthy marriages resolve the conflict in healthy ways. 

Please note I said RESOLVE. 

I’ve been married 41 years (42 next month) and from my experience and the experience of other Christians I know, very few married couples always argue maturely.

Marriage is 24/7 and that means we sometimes disagree when we’re tired, sleepy, passionate, hormonal, upset, discouraged, sick, etc. If we expect all conflict in our marriage to be mature, healthy, and kind, we’re going to be disappointed. Healthy marriages exist because spouses don't give up when things get "messy," and because they give each other lots of grace and forgiveness.

We should strive to argue constructively and show self-control during disagreements, making it a matter of prayer to: 
  • Keep our voice at a normal level 
  • Not make broad generalizations (e.g. “You always disappoint me.”) 
  • Not bring up unrelated grievances 
  • Not hit below the belt (say things that we know will deeply hurt or agitate our spouse.)
But we are going to fail sometimes. When we do, we can learn from our mistakes and pray that we will do better next time. But we shouldn’t expect perfection from our spouses or from ourselves.

This is where the RESOLVE part comes in. When we’ve blown it, we should repent in healthy, constructive ways. See my post about How to Apologize if you’d like some extra help in this area. 

Caveat: If you have an anger problem—if you run off, throw things, hit, scream, cuss, etc., you need to be daily memorizing Scripture verses about overcoming anger, and you need to set up an accountability relationship. This kind of behavior shouldn’t be a part of arguments, even "messy" ones. 

See also: 3 Major Reasons for Conflict 

Some resources I read for this post: Why Couples Argue  Couples Who Argue Stay Together
Image from Imagery Majestic, FREE DIGITAL PHOTOS. net

This is one of my weekly marriage posts, but I post a 1-Minute devotion each weekday on my home page. If you'd like to subscribe to these 1-minute devotions, please subscribe below. Thanks! Gail 

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  1. I always love your posts, Gail! Thanks for always linking up with The Alabaster Jar for Marital Oneness Mondays. What you share is exactly the type of content that I'm looking for on marriage!

  2. I agree that conflict can be a good sign. If there is never any conflict I believe that it can mean that someone isn't feeling safe enough to state their opinions. And that would be a bad sign! However, there are healthy ways to deal with differences!

  3. I like your thoughts about how to fight...keep voice level, don't hit below the belt, and don't generalize. Good reminders. Linking up from Mercy INK.

  4. Great reminders, thank you! as a "peace at all costs" person it is good to be reminded that not all conflict is bad!

  5. I always say that passionate arguments mean you passionately love--if you didn't you wouldn't put forth the effort! Great tips.

  6. I love this! Conflict can be good so long as we are respectful in how we speak to each other, as you mentioned. :) I just attended a marriage conference, and one of their points was to discuss instead of angrily argue. Be blessed! Lauren,

  7. Thank you for such an insightful post. Thankfully there isn't as much stress from arguments as, um, we mellow with the years. I love your marriage posts. What an encouragement.

  8. Oops...and thanks for linking up over at Haven of Rest this week. I love to open up and see your posts as I read down through the links.

  9. I like your list of suggestions. I tend to be quiet and allow him to rant. When a convenient time comes, I say my short piece to keep peace.


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