Christian Marriage Bloggers are writing about this picture above during the month of October. Instead of first seeing passion in the red umbrella above, I see a big ol’ stop sign! I used to see conflict as a stop sign to my libido. Then I learned….
Set-Backs aren’t stop signs
My parents rarely argued. If they did have conflict, they took it to their bedroom and hashed things out there. I never saw conflict resolution. So, yes, my childhood was peaceful. However, since I only saw the escalated conflict and never how to bring about a moderately happy ending, I’ve feared dealing with conflict for most of my adult life. I still don’t love having upset, but I am better at facing it and not ignoring it just to keep the façade of peace. Appeasement hinders emotional intimacy in marriage just as much as aggressiveness.
While building a better marriage through managing your low libido, there will be set-backs. All marriages deal with conflict. It may be about sex or it may be about something else. As a low-libido wife, tense moments of miscommunication hurt and can act as a pillow on an already weak libido especially if you don’t resolve the hurt.
Distilled down, conflict becomes a matter of trust. Deep down both spouses are wondering if they can trust the other to care. Basically asking, “Do you care about me as much as you care about getting your way?”
Trust is a delicate fiber that is the foundation of a low-libido wife’s regeneration of sexual interest. Mess with her trust and you mess with her lust.
Conflict is strengthening not suffocating. Conflict offers a bridge toward emotional intimacy if it is handled properly. With the right attitude, conflict allows you to see things from your spouse’s point of view. This builds your team-mentality.
Don’t let your set-backs be stop-signs.
How do you manage set-backs?
After the heat of the moment has passed, here are three things to consider.
Redress the issue. Don’t just apologize and quickly move on. “Buried conflict has a high rate of resurrection,” Dr. Les Parrott. As tough as it may seem, walk back up to the problem at the ‘redressable moment.’ It’s that moment when you can tell your spouse will be more accepting of a tough conversation. Bring the topic up without any heat of emotion. Each spouse talking calmly about their perspective.
Apologize if needed (“I’m sorry, but….,” is not acceptable) and embrace the apology graciously (“Thank you, but…,” is also not acceptable).
“Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth,” 1 Corinthians 13:6.
Redirect your assumptions. Ask your spouse where their response came from so you’ll have better understanding. Sometimes wrong assumptions are made about our spouse’s behavior and words. When their reasoning counters our wrong assumptions, it helps set up a pattern for the next time. When upset happens again, think back and remember you assumed wrong. In other words, innocent until proven guilty. Assume the best not the worst.
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion,” Proverbs 18:2.
Rededicate. Remember, you are on the same side of the battle. You are both soldiers against an enemy whose favorite target is marriage. (Not that you have ever been so mad you wanted to punch your husband. But if so, just substitute your husband’s face with Satan’s. He’s the real meddler.)
The quickest way to wreck the team bench is to let sarcasm and overall ugly behavior infiltrate between the players. Have you ever been watching a ballgame and two players on the same team have a scuffle? It’s always disheartening and disturbing to witness. Rise above that human petty nature to want to retaliate. It does nothing productive.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” Proverbs 15:1.
By doing these three things you are going a long way toward showing each other that you care more about your spouse and the health of your marriage than you care about getting your own way.
Set-backs aren’t stop-signs. Set-Backs are just signs of potential growth that something positive needs to be nurtured in your marriage. Set-backs can be turned into bonding moments when we drop the angry attitude and try to connect.
Trust is the foundational building block of emotional libido! You can build trust through conflict, if conflict is handled properly.
This post is part of a Christian Marriage Bloggers Association blog challenge to write a post about the red umbrella above. (Many thanks to Kate Aldrich Photography for this picture. Kate and her husband Brad blog at One Flesh Marriage.)
Image Credit: Kate Aldrich Photography
If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!
Want to receive more posts follow me by email? Subscribe in the right hand column.