How to Fight with your Spouse and WIN

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What is Winning and Losing when it comes to Fighting with Family?  Unhealthy couples fight to be right.  Healthy couples fight for resolution.

Dr. John Gottman: can watch a couple for 90 seconds and know if they are going to make it.

Proverbs 27:15 a continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

It is better to have severe hemorrhoids than to live with a jerk of a husband.  Erica 2:4


We all Fight.

Erica and I have fought a lot in 15 years of marriage.  We have disagreed over making the bed, buying clothes, how to discipline kids, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

All couples will fight because we are sinners.  However, Healthy couples fight fair. 

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

3 Rules to Fight Fair

  1. Stop to Listen Carefully – quick to listen

We are often quick to prove our point. We are wanting to get a word in edgewise.

Proverbs 18: 2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

If you feel like you have to prove your point or get something across, then you are believing a lie about God. That he is not capable to defend you or make the situation right. Or that God is not the one who gives you strength and credibility.

Prove to your Spouse that you are Quick to Listen:

  • Repeat back to your spouse what he or she just said.  It lets them know what you just heard.  It keeps it focused on the topic at hand. “I understand why you feel this way when I do _______”
  • Validate the fact that the feeling is there! Whether you agree with it or not. This is crucial.

When you don’t feel like you are being heard, you will feel helpless and like there is no hope.

 2.   Guard Your Words Faithfully

Proverbs 12:23  A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

When in an argument, and wanting to say something, ask yourself these two questions: Should it be said? Should it be said NOW?  If the answer is NO then, don’t say it!

Some things need to be dealt with but not in the middle of the fight!  Fight fair about the topic at hand.  Use times that are comfortable and not rough to deal with things that are helpful

There is a time to say difficult things.  We need to address them at the appropriate time.  Often that is NOT during a heated discussion.

Rules for Fighting

  1. Never raise your voice
  2. Never call each other Names
  3. Never get historical
  4. Never say never or always
  5. Never threaten divorce (low blow)
  6. Never quote your pastor

3.    Handle our Anger Righteously

Slow to become Angry.  You have to learn to LET GO.  “This just isn’t worth it.”

Men do men things.  Women do women things. (you might not understand)

Ephesians 4: 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

Anytime you go to bed with an unresolved issue, you give the devil a foothold on your marriage.  The little problem gets a little bigger.  Sometimes you have work through hard things. You have to FORGIVE. You have to release some of your tension.

Seek God and fight fair.

Praying means a great deal.  It’s hard to fight and pray with someone or around someone. When in crisis, it is crucial to pray with and for each other. 


1. Criticizing (not complaining) – dealing with problems by attacking instead of simply expressing heart.  Criticizing breeds ‘well, you do the same thing…”  you never do what you said you would do vs. I don’t like when you…

2. Contempt – mocking, disgust, sarcasm, eye rolling (acting superior) condescending. Comtempt has shown to cause destroy your immune system and make each other sick. (Ohio State University)

3. Defensive – its all his fault, its all her fault.  Instead, take some ownership!

4. Stonewalling – Silent treatment. Ingoring. I’m done. Silence actually escalate most of the time.

Have you seen these signs in your marriage?
How difficult is it to fight with these ‘fair’ rules and be a healthy couple?

Comment here or shoot me an email and let me know how things are going.


About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at

Posted on February 24, 2014, in My Family, Sermon Notes, theology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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