We are well in our fourth year of marriage. It’s a good thing because we are becoming a mature couple but on the flip side, its good bye to honeymoon stage and welcome to the drama stage. Now if you’re not familiar with the drama stage is, it’s the stage after the honeymoon stage and is characterized by fights and more fights. Not funny at all, everything can be and is a source of conflict.iuo9iwa3gl

We can’t count the number of times that we have stayed up late because of a conflict. The mental turmoil is insane to say the least. Think of that minor decision like what to buy, or when and what to fix in the car. For us, these things can be and have been a source of a fight that leaves us in the loud silence that’s common after a fight.

God’s will in our lives and marriages is perfect and pleasing (Romans 12:2.) But when you are in a rut, it doesn’t feel like that. In our hard times, in our minds, it is not hard to accumulate more and more evidence that we are headed in a bad direction. We are quicker to get upset, quicker to complain or just shut down all together. But we are learning to trust in God’s word and not wallow in our feelings of defeat.

Well, from what we’ve know the drama stage is inevitable. As bad as it is, it’s a chance for us to grow individually and as a couple. As we mentioned before drama stage is characterized by a lot of fights and below are the main causes of conflicts;

  1. Poor communication; Now this is one Joe can testify. He says, “it’s not what you say but how you say it”. We have different personalities, Nyamu being a choleric is very straight with her words, and Joe has a way with words. That has gotten us into a few conflicts.
  2. Unfulfilled Expectations: There have been instances when Nyamu has been mad at Joe for not offering his help. Think about how you feel when you are held accountable for things you were not even aware of. Maybe someone had an expectation of you that was never properly communicated. Then when you didn’t follow-through in the way they wanted, you got reprimanded. Or instead of letting you fix it, they just did all themselves. It makes you feel a little inadequate, like you’ll never be able to get it right for them. Managing expectations and expressing expectations, so we learn, is a crucial aspect in marriage.
  3. Disrespecting Differences; We all know, differences attract but also attack, the same things that attracted you to your spouse are the same things that will drive you up the wall. Joe is spontaneous and fun loving. You never know when its time for a bike ride, a movie or a random trip. This optimistic guy always sees the sunny side of things. Nyamu, on the other side, is a detailed planner and thinks through every decision including our spending and saving habits. Imagine the disaster if we were both spontaneous? On the other hand, this marriage would lack the adventure and spark if we were both thinkers and strict planners. We are a perfect blend, but sometimes you can have too much salt or too much sugar and that’s when things go south.
  4. Our sinful nature. Our goal as Christians is to cooperate with the holy spirit to be more like Jesus. That is easier said than done. But as we claim to be surrendering ourselves and marriages to Christ every day, we make minimal effort to change ourselves but still expect the other to make every effort to be better.

Understanding the causes of conflicts is just the beginning, because how we choose to respond to conflicts make all the differences, and most of the time, we feel like we are only left with two options, My way or your way. My way is often driven by pride of being better and knowing better. Your way is driven by fear, fear of conflict and fear of loss of the relationship. But there is a better way, because like we said, God’s will is perfect and pleasing not just in our lives but our marriages and relationships.  So how do we deal with conflict in a way that is good for us;

Choose to act not react; We are familiar with the things that tick off our spouses and most times, we can tell when a discussion will go south. At that point, we can decide to act, not react. When we have fights, we react and act very differently. Most of our reactions only fuel the conflict and drag it for hours. In the instances that Nyamu’s reaction could be to lash out, she has chosen to remain calm. It’s not easy, it requires great self-control and a plan. Joe on the other hand is learning to engage rather than avoiding confrontation.

Focus on the good in your partner; Have you heard of the sandwich method of correcting? “Affirm, confront and affirm”. Being a choleric Nyamu can be better at confronting than confirming (that’s true, just telling it as it is). But there are qualities about her that make her truly special, she is driven, motivated and really smart. And when Joe focuses on her good qualities, it makes it easier when we are in conflict. Conflicts offer an opportunity to think positively. To choose gratitude over a complaint. To expect the best and offer understanding if he/she falls short.

Choose to share God’s grace and remember the grace God has given us. We all live by grace, because if God was to really punish us for our sins we couldn’t even exist. But God is a graceful God, and His grace is sufficient for us to live in peace with others. We are forgiven, and as we pray in the Lord’s prayer we should forgive those who trespass against us.

Remember the story of man in debt in Matthew 18: 21-35. As forgiven people,“ we have to be willing to forgive too. This gives glory to God and allows us work in us.



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Marriage Mediation is a conflict resolution process for couples who are experiencing destructive conflicts but are committed to remaining married.