Strife is the reason most spouses don’t live in harmony. Couples who find themselves in this situation are often not united. The husband and wife move in different directions. When the husband is saying “A”, the wife is saying “Z”. Most times, it is because the family is locked in a cycle of strife.
What strife does is that, it makes clashes to be frequent and more intense. This is because such couples now believe they don’t belong to the same team. You discover that you have the man in one corner, let’s assume it’s the right side. You find the strife in the middle and then the wife on the left corner. So they both communicate to strife before they reason on every matter.
It is important to note that having different opinions does not mean that your home is disintegrating, but what matters is how you handle it as a man. Strife is the lack of agreement or harmony, it could also be a bitter conflict or heated, often, violent dissension.
The challenge with strife is that we often get to this position with the people we love and care about. The question now should be how do you handle strife knowing that it will always come because of varying opinions based on the background of you and your partner?
Here are a few steps you can follow:
1. Stop attacking
When you get into discussing issues with your spouse, you should stop attacking her personality, rather discuss the issue. For instance, a couple discussing how to pay their children’s school fees; while they are talking, the husband says this to his wife, “You usually don’t show concern of how I get the money to pay for the fee. All you do is to just keep disturbing me to pay the fee. But you just sit at home all day doing nothing.”
This will change the direction of the discussion because the man left the issue and then attacked the personality of the woman. What will naturally happen is that she would want to build a wall of defence to your response. As a man, learn to attack the issue on board and not to attack the person concerned.
2. Don’t retaliate
Issues may arise that might make your spouse attack your person instead of the issue. It is advised that you should not take it personally and then retaliate. You should always learn to call her back to the issue being discussed. Even the Good book says “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out, and where there is no slanderer, quarreling ceases.” You should do this with the ultimate goal in mind which is, you want peace at home and with your spouse.
3. Acknowledge her feelings
There are times where feeling empathetic with your spouse is the only thing you need to bring her back to see the issue in the same light with you. There are times that your spouse wants you to see how she feels about the matter being discussed, then there can be a follow-up action to understand what is being discussed to avoid strife.
4. Check your motive
When there is heated argument, do you check your motive? Why are you in such argument? Most times some men know that their opinions are wrong, but they just want to exercise that pride and then lord it over their spouse. This is not good enough most especially when it is obvious that the man is wrong, it will promote strife in the home.
5. Calm down
When you are discussing sensitive issues with your spouse and you know that emotions are being raised and the argument is getting heated, it is best that you leave the environment at that time. This is to give you time to calm down. Maybe you should go for a walk, or do something else that will get your mind off the issue until you regain your composure. This is not the same as keeping silent over important issues; a situation where you refuse to communicate. But this is a time to assess yourself on the issue and know where and when you went wrong. You can also pray to God on how you should go about the issue. Then you can revisit the issue at a better time and condition to avoid strife.
6. Choose your words
What you say and how you say it is very important. It will either improve the matter or make it more heated up. I suggest that you plan when and how to present what you want to discuss with your spouse carefully to promote peace and not strife. You can start by saying something that will soothe your spouse’ feeling, all with the aim to promote peace.
7. Lower your voice, keep your tone appeasing
Using a loud voice in a heated argument means you are hurting your spouse and want to suppress her opinion. But when you keep a lower tone and make your voice appeasing, it means you’re ready to accede to demands or get to a level of compromise to reach an understanding with the other person, to promote peace.
8. Be quick to apologise
When you say “I’m sorry to your spouse or partner”, it means you appreciate your relationship with your spouse more than your ego. Do not let pride and negative emotions cause you to lose sight of the objective of the discussion. Always take the responsibility to say “I’m sorry”, when you are wrong.
9. You’re one team
You should know that you and your spouse are on the same team. This knowledge will inform how you treat and talk to her when issues arises. Strife is the enemy against the peace and the unity of your home.