Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I’m welcoming another lovely gal for our Featured Real-Girls Guest Submissions, Melissa Coryell. We connected through Instagram, and one thing that I noticed about her right away is how she strives to connect like-minded women to the truth of the gospel. Her purpose with her newly rebranded blog is to empower and equip other women with the Word so that they will know their worth and remain firmly rooted in their beliefs. Today she will be sharing about how her and her husband discovered early on how to handle marriage conflicts in a healthy and productive way.
One thing you can’t live without? “My Heavenly Father, my handsome and caring husband, my beloved family, my church family (my family of choice), and my grande iced caramel macchiato (not a joke).”
Where and how did you meet your husband? “We met at our church actually! We both started going to Turning Point Church in February of 2014. We met through mutual friends, and started dating in the fall of that same year. The rest is history!”
What advice would you tell your high school self? “I would tell my high school self that there is no such thing as a perfect guy, and to never compare yourself with other girls. Just because you see her “best” moments doesn’t mean you would want her “worst” ones as well. All you see is perfection when you are under the delusional spell of comparison. Be content with you. No one has a replica of the talents that you have, and no one can make a difference the way you can for the Kingdom.”
Thank you Melissa for being a part of our Real-Girls: Wives community! Finding magic in the midst of motherhood + marriage is something we are all doing, together. Becoming a wife is a huge transition, and it takes trial and error to figure out the best groove to make your marriage work. Read below for Melissa’s post, and don’t forget to sign up for her weekly devotional at the bottom!
“In marriage, a man and a woman should become a new entity, functioning not as two individuals but as a team. They should learn to plan together and to carry out that plan together. Having a cooperative and caring life partner gives us a great advantage over anything we could have been as an individual. And we’re much wiser than we could have ever been on our own. But it takes skill to work as a team – negotiating skill.” Willard F. Harley, Jr.
“Conflicts are inevitable within a marriage. My husband, Tony, and I confront several conflicts a week! Not to mention that our ideas about how conflicts should be resolved are pretty different. But in spite of those differences, we’ve molded our ideas together to give us a great negotiation plan that we use to meet eye to eye when conflicts pop up.
What if we had not studied the marriage books that we have studied, and continue to read? What if we acted like we just didn’t care about what the other person thought or felt? It might’ve seemed a heck of a lot easier to have just ignored the conflicts that arose. But it wouldn’t have made it better for us in the long run. We did not want that to happen in our marriage, so we did all we could to ensure we were equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to understand how to approach our conflicts in a healthy way.
If conflicts are left unresolved in a marriage, over time, you will barely be able to tolerate living together. This fact explains these 4 points:
- The majority of adults today are single
- About one third of children are raised by a parent that has never been married
- The number of adults choosing to marry is dropping by the year
- Those who decide to marry face the possibility of a divorce
So in this post, I want to cover just one of the major issues why marriages fail: the failure to negotiate conflicts healthily and successfully. My husband and I don’t have this down perfect, but because we are both in pursuit of mutual satisfaction as the outcome of our conflicts, our marriage is everything we’d hoped it would be!
Even after seeking marriage counseling and being given a resolution to the conflict, it is still possible that the conflict “resolution” will leave both spouses feeling unsatisfied. If the love between a husband and wife is built as an effect of the resolution to their conflict…it has been done right.
Here are a few points that my husband and I have discovered are most important to be aware of in order to have a healthy and thriving marriage relationship:
Find a common goal
It might not be easy, but it’s not impossible to find a common goal that both of you can agree on. What you want is a win-win outcome: it should be a resolution that makes both you and your spouse happy. Long term resentment can be countered when conflicts are resolved the right way: when both husband and wife are happy with the outcome.
On our wedding day, we vowed to care for each other, so it would make sense for us to search for win-win outcomes that allowed our marriage to stay healthy and our relationship to strengthen.
Communicate your feelings
The premarital counseling class my husband and I took last year before our September wedding helped us discover (through an assessment we both took) that I tend to avoid conflict while my husband likes to settle and resolve conflicts. It’s much easier for me to just let things go than to point something out that has been bothering me and explain why. In his view, if I say it’s fine and just let it go, then the conflict would “be resolved.” But in my view it wasn’t because I didn’t take the time to share my feelings and approach him with my concerns.
We can’t expect our spouse to make decisions that are considerate of our feelings and interests if we don’t communicate our feelings and interests to them. And it is certainly not fair to expect them to give us the best outcome imaginable from a conflict when we neglect to open up and share with them our thoughts and feelings.
mutual Love and respect
If a husband and wife do not know how to resolve a conflict without one running over the other, the disagreement will lead to a fight rather than a resolution. For my husband and I to see to a clear win-win outcome without it becoming a fight, we enter the conversation with a mutual agreement to see the other person’s perspective as a missing piece to the puzzle.
We also try to understand that our own view has a possibility of being flawed. That way, we can show the other that we respect and want to listen to their opinion. This drastically opens the door for humility throughout the whole process. Don’t enter into the conflict already declaring in your mind that you are right and they are wrong – this sets you up for a fight and shows them that you are not considering their feelings and thoughts, only your own.
wife couple, happy life
Just as I mentioned earlier, it’s vital to not ignore your spouse’s feelings and know that no one’s cares or happiness is above the other’s. But in many marriages, there is this idea that the only way to show love to your spouse is to place their happiness above your own. What people are not thinking about is how they’re not giving their spouse the same privilege to make them happy, too.
I know. I know…us ladies like to have our way…and as the saying goes, “happy wife happy life.” But if we really view our marriage in this light, then we are just digging a hole that our husbands can never get out of. We end up wishing our husbands would open up more so that we could know how to make them happy. We end up putting ourselves on a pedestal, and not considering that both people need to be happy in order for a marriage to succeed. The truth is that it’s far more important to understand each other than it is for only one of us to get our way.
I hope that these 4 points encourage and uplift you, and most importantly that they give you hope for your own marriage. Marriage is beautiful and it is one of God’s greatest gifts! Fight for it, and never give up!”
Melissa Coryell | Blogger at MelissaCoryell.com
If you would like to sign up to be emailed when new posts from my blog Empowering Women become available, OR if you want to sign up to receive my weekly devotional, you can subscribe here!