When You Disagree With Your Wife
My wife and I recently had a disagreement that almost led to a heated argument. In the past, I would’ve blown it big time, but this time I knew better.
Allow me to share with you a highly effectively strategy called the “Rules of Engagement” that will help you never lose an argument with your wife and keep you from unintentionally damaging your relationship.
How To Set The Rules
Arguments in marriage are inevitable, but they don’t have to be destructive. After my first marriage, I knew I needed to learn a better way to communicate with my second wife. I was totally clueless when it came to dealing with the emotional state of a woman. I only knew one speed, and that was full steam ahead like a bulldozer.
Arguments in marriage are inevitable, but they don’t have to be destructive.
My only objective in an argument was to be right, and I was relentless. But after 16 years and a divorce, I found out that probably wasn’t the best way to communicate in a marriage. So, I got help; because the woman I was marrying was ex-military, ex-law enforcement, and a champion martial artist. Let’s just say she doesn’t run away from many fights.
I knew almost immediately we were going to have some serious issues when it came to dealing with conflict. So during pre-marital counseling, my pastor suggested we do something to prepare for the inevitable. He asked us to establish some “Rules of Engagement.” Basically, these were fighting rules to preserve our relationship and protect our marriage.
He asked us each to create a list of the things we didn’t want the other person to do if we ever got into an argument. Then he asked us both to look at the list and make a promise to never do any of those things.
For instance, my wife’s list had only 4 rules:
- Don’t remind her of her past mistakes.
- Don’t say, “She will never be satisfied.”
- Don’t raise my voice louder than hers just to make a point.
- Don’t press her to respond if she doesn’t want to talk.
When it came to my rules, I had 4 as well. I asked her to agree to:
- Not say, “I don’t want to argue with you.”
- Not walk away while I’m talking.
- Never tell me to “Shut up.”
- Refrain from name-calling or use of foul language.
Then we both agreed to the following:
- We would never use the word “divorce” when arguing or even insinuate we shouldn’t be together.
- Don’t negatively compare the other to our ex or parent.
- Stop talking when asked to respectfully listen to the other person.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
When you think about, it’s quite simple. But most couples never think about it until it’s too late. This was one of the best things we’ve ever done for our marriage. I can’t remember the last time we went to bed angry at each other. In addition to keeping arguments from escalating, you honor your wife by protecting and guarding her heart.
The rules of engagement aren’t just fighting rules, they’re like guardrails for your marriage, because whenever you break the rules, you’re essentially breaking your wife’s heart. And now the argument about forgetting to take out the trash turns into an argument about “trashing” her heart and not being loving.
The rules of engagement aren’t just fighting rules, they’re like guardrails for your marriage, because whenever you break the rules, you’re essentially breaking your wife’s heart.
See, it’s not only important to love our wives; we have to learn our wives. And it’s not about making our point, winning an argument, or being right; it’s about being and staying in right relationship with her and with God.