4 Mistakes Couples Make When They’re Fighting

4 mistakes couples make when they are fighting

We’re bound to have difficult days, days when we don’t get along, and days we don’t see eye to eye.

Growing together is tough. You have two different people with two different ideas and a whole bunch of opinions that don’t always meld. So we fight. We get angry and hurt and upset.

Maybe you don’t call it fighting. Maybe you call it a disagreement, the silent treatment, or not getting along.

Regardless of what you might call it, one thing rings true: it’s more important to fight for our marriage than it is to fight for our pride.

Working together takes courage, patience, compassion and love. Without them we give into our pride and we make these four common mistakes:

1. We turtle – Turtling is the opposite of communicating. It’s turning inward when we should be turning outward. It’s bottling things up inside instead of gently communicating our thoughts.

If you find yourself turtling, try communicating instead. Just make sure you’re communicating in love.

2. We run – Running is easy. Anyone can walk out of a room and slam the door behind them. But here’s the thing: you can’t resolve a problem by running away from it. The best way to solve our problems is by working together in love.

If you find yourself running, find the courage to stay. And if you don’t have the courage, ask God to help you.

3. We get aggressive – we can’t go to war expecting to find peace. If we want our spouse to respond to us in a loving and caring way, we must treat them with love and respect.

If you find yourself lashing out, practice controlling your emotions right then and there. The more you exercise self-control, the stronger you’ll be.

4. We’re self-seeking – 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love, “seeketh not her own.” If we truly love someone we must be willing to put down our desire to win at all costs.

If you find yourself fighting to win, remind yourself that it’s more important to fight for your marriage than it is for your pride. Winning is not a reward. The best rewards come from obedience to God’s will.

Let’s pray…

Dear Heavenly Father,

We never imagined how much love could hurt. It stings when we’re going through conflict. It’s tough when we don’t see eye to eye.

We’re two different people with different ideas, growing together as one.

We’re bound to have difficult days. Help us to handle them well.

Teach us to fight for our marriage. Give us the strength to stay when we want to get up and run. Grant us the courage to work on our problems instead of sweeping them under the rug.

Remind us that it’s more important to fight for our marriage than it is for our pride.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

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  • Heather P

    I am the one that wants to try to talk things out, while my husband is the one that walks away and will not figure things out. It seems there is nothing to do to work things out. It has been this way for a while. Frustrating to say the least.

  • Nancy


    Hi Heather,I have been in your shoes for 10 yrs! I want you to know there is hope:O) It has been a tough journey,and yes there were days I wanted to quit.But I prayed and asked God to give me strength,and I just promised myself,with God’s help, to not give up,ever! It wasn’t always easy forsure,but I can honestly say it was worth it 100%! I would go through it all all over again 🙂
    My husband is just now starting to get it:) Iam so very thankful I never gave up hope that God would intervene! And he has done exactly that! We are both so very thankful today,for God’s provision!!
    I hope this encourages you today,Heather!! And anyone else who needs encouragement for tough communication and conflict in their marriages:O) Pray and seek God!!
    God is on the throne and he cares for each and everyone of us. He cares for our marriages too!!
    God is waiting to help you each step of the way!!! Only TRUST him now!!:)
    God Bless you all in your Marriage!!

  • Darlene Schacht

    Heather, it took us a long time to get to the place where we don’t turtle or walk away when we’re frustrated. Communicate your thoughts in this area and be patient with him. We all grow at different speeds.

  • Sassy

    What if you just don’t want to heat up the conversation and walk inside your room is that running?what if it is your way to control emotions?but your husband walked out and ran back to his mom and never came back?

    • Darlene Schacht

      Sometimes wisdom tells us to step back, and that’s okay too. We can go into the kitchen and wash dishes or sit down and pray. But try to go back sooner than later to reconcile and never give the other person the feeling that you’re abandoning them. That’s the main thing.

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Darlene, as always, thank you for your wise and encouraging words. If more of us fought for our marriages rather than fighting our spouses, the world would truly be a better place.

    It is my fervent prayer that we would learn not to repeat these mistakes for the good of our marriages and for the glory of God!

    May He continue to bless your cups to overflowing.

  • Lisa

    I find myself guilty of all of these. It has taken me 31 years of marriage to finally start to understand why I do what I do but I think its too little too late. We are talking separation and my husband does not trust any changes that we might make. I don’t believe he cares to try anymore. I am trying to put my faith in God. It is so hard not knowing what His plan is.

  • Georgette

    We turtle because we get hit, we run because we get hit.

    I’ve never been in such a marriage. I have been married twice
    and both very abusive. I gave up I’m divorced now and very happy with my life
    The only one I have in my is Jesus. alot of people say ” don’t live in the past.
    but remembering the past . helps me to be safe and not stupid.
    pray? pray? neither one prayed with me. The second one even said ” It’s hard Living with Mother Theresa.” I just looked at him sideways. I don’t know how many times my life was in trouble.
    that was 2010. I’m a care taker for my mother now , I was a caretaker for my Father. but we lost him 2013. in the beginning of 2013I had 2 heart failures and was in a coma, I now have tumors on my uterus , that I look 5 months pregnant , and in pain every day, waiting for Medicaid to kick in and my surgery to take place……………..please pray for my family…………..As for another Husband in my life my heart has been thru enough literary …………….thank you g

    • Darlene Schacht

      No one should be subject to abuse like this Georgette. I’m sorry that you went through that. Praying for your family right now.

      P.S. Anyone else reading this I pray that if you are in an abusive relationship you will tell someone who can help you find a safe place to go to. Always pray, always hope, always trust the Lord, but also draw boundaries where you must.

  • Shay

    I’m in the same boat as Heather. We argue or disagree will separate to calm down and then when I try to initiate the conversation to discuss the spark that started the argument he shuts down and no longer wants to talk. days later we go back to everything being normal or so it seems. we never truly address anything. we’ve only been married 5 years and I’m continuing to fight for the marriage and trying not to fight with my husband. and we can avoid the arguments but without discussing the issues we both just live and such and happiness

  • Anonymous

    Hello Darlene,
    I wish I knew of your book and website in the beginning I would have turned to u a long time ago. I wish I could email you personally for a deeper discussion or advice but for now this will be just fine. My husband and I have been together many years, I met him when I was 16 going on 17 got married 6 years ago and we have 3 children together. We have been through so much that I dnt even know where to begin. My husband and I are definitely turtlers at times and at times we are runners its not always easy to stay and talk things out without creating an even bigger argument. When I first layer eyes on my husband I knew he was my soul mate, he had a pure, kind, warm, and gentle heart. He respected me and treated me as a queen always took my side no matter if I was wrong or right and vice versa. Although over time that changed and I begin to see a different person it was almost as if I couldn’t recognize whom he was or had become. The first time he put his hands on I thought to myself was it something I said or did to force him to do such a thing. We talked about it I brushed it off and looked past it, but then it seemed the more we got into arguments fighting each other begin to come so naturally. I hated it because I loved tho man and still do but I never seen so much rage in person eyes who claims to love u unconditionally. He would always share our business wit his mom and she would always seem to be at the foot of most of our problems. After while infidelity came into play while I was being faithful he was not, and then my vulnerability turned into foul play, after while it started to seem like a tick for tact kinda marriage with us I couldn’t take it so we separated for a whole year things happened while we were separated that we were both not proud of but at some point we missed eachother and were miserable without one another amazingly even after all we been through and decided to give it another shot. We both now have trust issues and things don’t always feel the same but I know the love is not lost because this man will look at me and I look at him and Know that behind all the lies and deceit I will still fight for us our love and he’s still willing to fight but I am confused as far as what to make of this. If god I telling me telling us to keep fighting or to let each other be at peace. To let go and let god. Please help me get a better understanding because sometimes I feel I am nothing without this man and wouldn’t no where to begin to pick up the pieces of my life without him. I love him with every last breath in MD but what do we do ??? Sincerely Anonymous

    • Darlene Schacht

      I’m sorry it took me a while to respond. I’ve been away from the blog while on vacation. My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry to read this. We know that love always trusts, but sometimes we have unresolved pain and fear of what could happen again.

      I hope that you can speak to counsellor. Together is best. Alone if you have to. A wise counsellor will help you sort things out and offer you steps toward growth and reconciliation. Even a pastor can be a good counsellor. They deal with marriage issues more often than we realize.

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