I never fight with my wife. Never. Neither should you.
Despite what you may have read in a book, heard from a marriage expert or believe from watching other couples (or even your own relationship) fighting is not inevitable in marriage. You can have a beautiful, healthy and ridiculously happy marriage... with no fighting.
A little history.
My parents argued, vehemently, through a large portion of my childhood. Before my 12th birthday Mom was gone and they were divorced. I don't lay blame on either -- like all of us they each had their own issues. Even so, it was the most painful thing I ever endured. I vowed that I would never put children or a wife through that experience.
I know that many people feel every couple fights in marriage. Truly most do. But not everyone. There is a percentage, what seems to be a relatively small number that buck the trend. We want you to join us. There is great joy to be had and many heartaches to be avoided.
It should be noted that my wife and I don't always agree on issues. We do agree more than 90 percent of the time, but there are exceptions. In those cases we talk (no yelling or anger) things through and come to a decision. It really is as simple as that. Let me tell you why (and how) I never fight with my wife.
1. Fighting is immature
Let's jump right in and stir things up. When children don't get their way they yell and cry and say terrible things. Let me ask you a question. Do you yell at your boss? Do you scream at the cashier in the grocery store when the line is moving slowly? No, you don't. You treat them with respect.
Shouldn't the person you love the most be the one you respect the most? Don't give in to the temptation to lose all social kindness when you walk in your own front door. I say "please" and "thank you" to my wife for anything she does for me. You are a man, not a child. You can choose to show her kindness, not selfishness.
2. Fighting doesn't solve problems, it creates them
What do you fight over? Money? How to raise the children? Which way the toilet paper roll should be placed? Fighting doesn't make these things better, it just surrounds the topics with hurt feelings and tears of frustration. When anger flares it doesn't help the situation, it makes it much worse.
At this point some counselor is reading this post and thinking, "This guy's marriage is in trouble. All those pent up feelings are going to eventually lead to an explosion of epic proportions!" It's not true. My wife and I have been married for nearly 25 years. Neither of us remembers a fight for at least 22 of those years.
Will you have differences? Of course! But how you treat each other in those times shows whether you care more about yourself or her. Talk through differences, be kind and giving. Gentleness is the key.
3. I love her
I'm not perfect. Every once in a while I'll feel a bit of frustration welling up. But I know how to remove it. I'm a man of prayer. Praying allows me to let go of those problematic feelings.
In addition I can't bring myself to treat her harshly. This woman is the most precious person on Earth to me. Will I raise my voice to her? Will I instill fear of me in her heart by uncontrolled outbursts? No! I show my love to her by doing whatever I can be the man she needs me to be. Your wife sees you at your best and at your worst. If you always remember how much you love her then your worst will look very much like your best.
4. I am an example
We have two children, both boys. They are adults now and the youngest is married with a wife of his own. During their entire childhood they lived in a home where their mother and father loved each other dearly. They knew at times things were tight financially and we didn't have everything we might have wanted, but they didn't worry about their parent's relationship. They never lived with the fear of divorce in their home. My wife and I are the example for them to follow and that was no accident.
If you are a married man you are also an example. To your children if you have them, to other couples almost certainly and to society as a whole. Be the man that other men aspire to emulate. Be a man who compliments his wife both in and out of her presence. Tell others how much you love her! Let the marriages which come after you see what beauty is possible in a relationship.
Am I perfect? No. Is our marriage perfect? No. Do we sometimes disagree? Certainly. But we don't fight. Do you? Maybe it's time to change from fighting to loving. If we can be happily married without fighting then so can you. You can do this. Now go love her.
This article first appeared on The Good Men Project.