My husband and I had only been married 19 days and already the fighting was getting to him. I mean, we didn't marry for happiness, but still ... It had only been 19 days. Surely, we shouldn't be fighting already! Was our marriage doomed from the start?
I can totally understand why one would think so. After all, no one likes to talk about the bad parts of marriage, the difficult parts, the parts where you really have to hang in there. Sure, women will vent to their girlfriends, but how often is it in deep, honest conversation where we share our struggles, admit our faults and ask for advice and counsel? Not often enough.
Instead, we log in to Facebook and see all of our friends' smiling pictures. Or we talk to them and hear only the good parts of the story, because everyone knows some things are best kept to yourself. Or we watch Hollywood movies, where all of the disagreements are minor, and even the biggest disagreements are wrapped up nicely by the end of the show.
Makes it easy to feel like you're the only one struggling, doesn't it?
Well, the good news is, you're not. Marriage is hard! It just is. Whenever you take two people who grew up with different personalities, different backgrounds and different ways of doing things and suddenly expect them to live together in close quarters and work together as a team - well, it takes practice! So it's okay if it doesn't come naturally at first.
You are not the only ones struggling. Today's divorce rate alone should tell you that.
The other good news is, the fact that you and your husband fight a lot - it doesn't have to be a bad thing. My husband and I certainly have our fair share of disagreements at times, and it honestly doesn't bother me. Here are three reasons why.
1. Fighting Means We Have Some Growing to Do
My husband and I - we're not perfect. We definitely have a lot of growing and learning to do. But the thing is, we love each other anyways. Even when our imperfections drive each other crazy. He doesn't expect me to be perfect, and I don't expect him to either. We're growing and we're learning, and we're doing it together. This is not the end of our story; it's only the beginning. We'll get better with practice, and we'll do it together.
2. Fighting Means We Care
Sure, it'd be nice to be one of those rare couples who never fight. But ... personally, I'd worry that a lack of arguments would mean that we just didn't care anymore. Because honestly, the reason that we fight is usually because we DO care and because we're passionate about doing the right thing for each other and for our family. Now if only we could agree on what that is...
Our marriage, our kids, our life together ... it's worth fighting for.
3. There's No One I'd Rather Fight With
The main reason, though, is because if I'm going to have a disagreement with anyone in this life, I want it to be with my husband.
In John 16:33, Jesus promises us we WILL have troubles. They are inevitable. (Sure, he probably wasn't talking about whose turn it is to do the dishes, but still...) We're human. We aren't always going to see eye to eye.
But when I argue with my husband, I know it's not in vain. I know he loves me and has my best interests at heart. I know he will still love me tomorrow, whether we figure it out or not, and even if everything I say comes out completely wrong and not how I meant it at all.
When my husband and I argue, I know we are working on our marriage and tomorrow we will be stronger than we were today. We'll know each other better and understand each other that much more. And next time we're in this situation, we'll know just what to do (or at least have a better idea).
It's an inevitable part of the process, and it's a process I'm lucky to go through with him by my side.
Sure, fighting is never fun. It's exhausting and heartbreaking and downright annoying. But if you allow the good to come out of it, it's completely worth it once you reach the other side.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been republished here with permission.