Proverbs 20:3. “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”
Marital counseling is tough. Often, by the time a couple finally comes in for help, the marriage is already DOA. Not always, but too often.
Some folks just can’t seem to keep from fussing, arguing, nitpicking. There is constant interrupting, contradicting, correcting; worst of all, saying, “That’s not true!” or “That’s a lie!”
One of the tools I offer couples is called Active Listening. When the couple is willing to follow the guidelines, they will learn to talk WITH, not AT each other. They become better listeners. They learn to quit listening in order to respond, and start listening to really hear. Active listening provides a safe and respectful way to settle the difficult issues.
Breaking old patterns is very hard. One thing people do is called escalation. This happens when you have a conversation that starts with whether to have ham or turkey for Christmas, and suddenly words like always and never start getting thrown around. The next thing you know, the battle has been joined. If this type of thing continues, there’s not much hope. Each battle creates new wounds and opens old ones, and nothing good is accomplished. The couple forgets how the argument started, and both walk away feeling hurt, angry, and hopeless.
Wise men and women will learn to refuse to engage in pointless arguments. Foolish ones will insist on being right, no matter what. When one person always has to be right, then the other always has to be wrong. That’s a very ugly imbalance.
Wise people avoid fighting. Fools quarrel all the time.