In every marriage there will be disagreements, even fierce arguments. However, the end-goal of any conflict that occurs within a marriage should be resolution and reconciliation, not a big win.

When a spouse is focused on victory only, they are in essence demanding that they be deemed the winner and their spouse the loser. But, focusing on victory alone in an argument is counterproductive as it only fulfills the ego needs of one spouse, without counting the emotional and relational cost upon the other spouse.

In marriage, a no-fault approach to conflict resolution is a much more productive strategy. In a no-fault approach, the goal in a disagreement is to find an answer that will resolve the point of contention and move both parties as quickly as possible towards a spirit of goodwill and good humor.

Simply put, if you and your spouse can adopt a no-fault approach, the goal will always be to agree on what is right, rather than on who is right. Because when tempers are heated and words are flying, a path must always be kept open for compromise, retreat, apology, or simply agreeing to disagree.

The goal of every marriage should be intertwined with creating an atmosphere of peace. And if peace becomes absent through conflict, the goal then should be to restore the peace. While it is possible (through personal and spiritual discipline) to cultivate individual peace in almost any circumstance, maintaining peace in marriage requires practicing a no-fault approach when conflict arises, and making a commitment to being a peacemaker rather than a “winner.”

Simply put, if you and your spouse can adopt a no-fault approach, the goal will always be to agree on what is right, rather than on who is right.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.