Thursday, May 17, 2012

Have You Had A Squabble With Your Spouse Lately?

[Brandon speaking] ... How did it turn out? Still holding a grudge? I call these...squabble moments! And they most definitely are marriage moments! 
As married people, we are going to have squabbles with our spouse. When they do come up, and inevitably they will, what do we do to make sure that a squabble doesn’t turn into a bigger deal...a major disagreement/argument?
We had one of these come up the other day over something silly. In our car, it was late Friday afternoon around 6:00pm...driving to Nashville for a friends’ wedding weekend. One thing led to another and somebody said something and we disagreed.’s at that moment of disagreement that what we choose to do as a couple (or you individually choose as a spouse) determines what the rest of the night is going to look like!
Now, what are we up against? For me as a’s’s the end of the’s been a long hard working week...I’m drained, I’m tired...I like to tell Whit when I’m in these situations that I’m “emotionally fragile” very careful...I’m not myself...I’m extra selfish right now. And then a disagreement comes along and sets me off. And Whit thankfully -- understands where I am coming from and how the stage was set for all this to play out -- and gives me an extra helping of grace.  In this moment last Friday, I told Whit, “I just need some time to think” (and I went quiet)...I just need some let things simmer and cool down. And with us, the goal is not to win an argument. We’re going to make our point...but it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about being known. 
Sometimes the scene seems to be set and things primed for this kind of disagreement to be set. It seems that stepping back and gathering my thoughts -- gives me time to calm down, then talk it through...address what went on with tenderness, gentleness, and self-control. It doesn’t make it right when the other person hurts you or says something because they can’t control their tongue -- definitely have to still be accountable for that -- but knowing the bigger situation is half the battle. If you’re the spouse on the receiving end of all this, being graceful and quick to forgive is such a blessing. 
Enjoying the journey!
[Whitney speaking] ... Here’s the deal...I didn’t use to be able to shake these conversations very quickly. I would hold onto them and analyze them to the core and go back to how we even got here and make sure we had the right kind of closure (times a million)...but now I have learned that it’s not worth it to let these little “squabbles” ruin our night. For us, this all got going when we were having a pleasant drive down the road and then low and behold...something came up about how we have a birth class on the night of one of Brandon’s upcoming baseball games. My thought was, “what’s the big have a ton of games this season”...his take was that this is the second game of the season (he’s already missing game number three) and didn’t want to have to miss the first two out of three games -- after waiting with great anticipation for the season to start. Again, we saw this from two different set of lenses...and I’m sure it doesn’t even sound like that big of a deal to you (!!) but in that moment, it seemed like a big deal. One of the main “take homes” from this night was that all in all...the stage was set (end of long hard working week, tired, in the car driving, etc) for a seemingly small thing to ruffle the feathers. Half of the reason this seemed like such a big deal was the timing and all that this “scheduling faux pas” came up. That was part of my frustration -- because I am such a planner. My thought was, if only I had seen a copy of the baseball schedule...we could have planned our birth class around this. However, in that moment you can’t go back. We could only look at moving forward, talking this through, and then putting this behind us and not letting it put a damper on our evening. And so...that’s just what we did! We had a wonderful rest of the evening and quite a delightful weekend with friends and family. 

We found this quote by Ruth Bell Graham (Billy Graham’s wife) and wanted to share it with you. Felt like this spoke to right where we had been: 
“I pity the married couple who expect too much from one another. It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain. The same goes for the man who expects too much from his wife.” (Ruth Bell Graham)


  1. Wow. I love this post! I think every married person in the world can relate to this, and I love your insight and honesty. I'm gonna remember the line: "It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about being known." ... Oh, and y'all are pretty adorable too!!

  2. This is so, so good. I also felt like "being known" struck me at my core. It is so often what I try to passionately get across in squabble moments but in translation it often sounds like I have to be right in the moment. All I want is to be known... I need to remember that and apply it equally with grace to the Hubs. He wants to be known as well. PS Sam is a huge sports guy and we had very similar moments during our first pregnancy. He actually broke his ankle and leg at a game I had not supported him participating in because of pregnancy stuff. It effected EVERYTHING in our lives to say the least and was quite a test for us in the marriage moment department for about 9 months. :) God is so good and faithful even when we are not! We both had to forgive and let go of a lot of selfishness during those 9 months. And grace, yes grace is essential for good communication. We are still learning that day by day.