They cuddled together on their love seat. The one which was specifically chosen for the purpose it was serving.
Charles and Fadeke had been lovers of body and heart before they exchanged vows. Their life was normal, or so they believed. Then one day one word led to another, voices started rising, hands lift off the other’s waistline, as the volume of the shouting increased.
Suddenly Fadeke felt a slap, a hot stinging slap on her face… She reeled from the reality and the pain, while she looked to confirm that it was from Charles. The expletives continued from his mouth like diarrhoea that refused to be contained.
Fadeke did not — indeed could not — retaliate. They’d had many quarrels but violence was a notch higher in their fights.
She looked herself up and down, wasn’t sure if she loved this guy anymore at this point. She felt a constriction in her heart as though an invisible hand was squeezing out any love she had for him. Whatever thoughts had assuaged her before this time, she didn’t care about anymore. How dare him!? How dare Charles!!?
Why do couples who vowed to love themselves till forever end up fighting?
We need to understand what marital conflict is – and what it isn’t
- Having different opinions isn’t conflict – insisting that your opinion is right is conflict.
- Talking to each other with heightened excited voices is not conflict -shouting and employing rude language is conflict.
- Agreeing to disagree on less fundamental issues isn’t conflict – giving in to a disagreement to avoid a confrontation is conflict.
- Marital conflict isn’t an isolated event – it is a series of events that have been poorly handled.
- Marital conflict isn’t a lack of talking to each other – it is a lack of communication.
Marital conflict is borne of ego, stubbornness and extreme selfishness. It festers over a long period but can be avoided if one desires to have a lasting marriage. Disagreements are part of daily living but when they fester they become conflict. Conflict doesn’t help any marriage. It chips at the core of any relationship and if care isn’t taken may result in the breakdown of a relationship.
When our egos clog the wheels of our relationships; when our stubbornness oils the engine of our hearts, then our relationships are stricken with a terminal illness.
The phase of marriage when our relationship is conflict-ridden is when we flex muscles and wish to exert power or influence and the other person doesn’t accept the infliction.
Conflict is detrimental to a marriage but can be avoided. The way we handle disagreements determines if they will degenerate into conflict.