The Truth About Fighting With Your Spouse


This article is a punch in the stomach. This article will likely not just touch a couple sore spots, it will dig into them making you feel uncomfortable. This article could cause you to not like us, and that’s ok. We aren’t called to be
liked, we are called to walk in love and speak truth. That’s what this article is. We love you too much to turn a blind eye to something that may be in your marriage that’s absolutely destroying you. What you are about to read may not feel loving, but it is. The good news is that if you currently struggle with this, there is a different way made available to you through Jesus, His Word, and the Holy Spirit.

After almost 8 years of marriage, we have never had a single fight. Ever.

Yeah. I know. Sounds like a huge lie, right? It’s not. Through 4 babies, starting businesses, closing businesses, buying a home, losing a home, buying cars, getting those cars repossessed, and having some incredibly low financial moments in our marriage, we have yet to ever have a fight.

Still sound weird? You aren’t alone. It’s weird to us, too.

As a matter of fact, we thought for awhile that maybe we were missing something because every marriage or couples’ conference, seminar, or retreat we go to people say fighting is normal. We’ve even heard that occasional fighting and conflict in a marriage is good and healthy. So what is our marriage? Unhealthy? Unreal? Are we missing something detrimental because we’ve never had a fight? Is our marriage doomed? These are actual things I thought early on until one day I realized something.

Fighting with your spouse may be common, but it is in no way normal.

Heated arguments. Discussions that use anything other than a gentle loving tone. Verbal quarrels. I just can’t find in scripture where it says this kind of behavior is ok. Being in constant conflict with your spouse may be common, but it is in no form or fashion biblical. Truth be told, fighting, although common is an indicator of deeper issues that are going on in your marriage.

Simply put, fighting is the fruit of deep dysfunction that shouldn’t be ignored.

How does scripture instruct a husband to interact with his wife? The bible tells husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7) and to not be harsh with their wives (Colossians 3:19).

It’s time we expose something that is common in marriage, but not normal or how a healthy biblical marriage should operate. Here are a few things fighting reveals about you and your marriage.

1. It Shows a Selfish Heart

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”  James 4:1 ESV

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:16 ESV

We are naturally selfish. Just watch children, and it won't take long until you see them act incredibly selfish. The funny thing is that no parent ever has to teach their child how to be selfish, it comes naturally. A selfish heart says, “I want what I want, how I want it, and when I want it!” When something falls inside of those selfish parameters, that’s when fights, disagreements, debates, and bad attitudes happen.

Every fight, disagreement, heated debate, or “passionate discussion” finds it roots in some form of selfishness. Take a look back at the last few fights you’ve had with your spouse. If you trace it back far enough and are honest enough with yourself, you’ll find a root of selfishness somewhere in either you or your spouse.

2. It Shows Poor Communication Skills (You aren’t alone in this)

You know the feeling. You or your spouse are trying to communicate something or how you feel, and then you begin to feel tensions rise, attitudes flare, the tone of voice shift, and the conversation begin to go somewhere you don’t want it to go. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Here’s the simple answer. These things happen because you haven’t learned to communicate well. I know, that probably hurt a little, but it’s true so let’s turn the light on in the room and call it like it is. Millions of couples suffer from this lack of ability to communicate well about things that really matter to them. One of the biggest life skills that aren't taught in school is how to communicate well with other people. It’s a tragedy. Don’t worry though, you aren’t the only one!

This July at On Purpose Marriage we are launching our first On Purpose Marriage Immersion. It's a quarterly 4-week online class for married couples who want to learn how to have a better marriage by improving their foundation. Each Immersion includes weekly video lessons, weekly Q&A time, a workbook for you and your spouse, as well as recommended reading to take what you learn to the next level. You can find out more about this upcoming Immersion class by CLICKING HERE

The bottom line when it comes to communication is this: the better you get at communicating with your spouse, the more you'll experience fewer misunderstandings, not as many arguments, and fewer fights.

3. It Shows That You Are Walking In The Flesh

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:19-23 ESV

Let me start by saying that you have the power to choose to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. I get it, at times you feel overwhelmed and like you don’t have the choice, but you do. You are not a victim, you have the Holy Spirit living in you and are empowered to walk in the Spirit and say no to walking in the flesh. You will reap the fruit of which one you choose to walk in, period. You want strife, anger, division, and enmity in your marriage? Just continue to choose to walk in the flesh. You want love, joy, and peace in your marriage? Choose to walk in the Spirit.

In closing, there is a better way. A better way to live with, communicate with and love your spouse. A way that doesn’t involve bickering, fighting, disagreeing, and jabbing at one another. This change can’t and won’t happen overnight, but change can and will occur one day at a time as you refuse to believe that you and your spouse have to live this way, as you walk in the Spirit, and as you are brutally honest with yourself. Your best days are still ahead of you, friend.