The Best Marital Advice I Received: Your Partner Is Your Ally Not Your Enemy

A very long time ago, when my husband and I were newly married, a wise woman in our church gave us some advice that turned out to be THE statement I return to over and over in the ups and downs of marital bliss. Sitting on the couch, at a small group, the guest speaker that week was a fascinating woman that grasped my attention from the get-go. She and her husband had been married for what seemed like forever at the time, and they served as elders in our church. Though they offered up a plethora of good tips that night, one statement from her mouth resonated with me. She said—

“Remember, when the battles come, and they will, the fight is never really with your spouse. The fight is with the enemy of your marriage. It’s never you against your husband. It’s you and your husband against the problem.”

This little statement was so packed with wisdom that it took a minute to chew on and years to master. What did she mean, and how does that really work to improve your marriage?

“When the battles come…and they will-“

After eighteen years of marriage, this statement is a no-brainer. At twenty years old, however, she was the first person—who was in a solid and loving relationship—who admitted to us that fights are normal. Battles in marriage are not necessarily a sign of distress. They arise for all kinds of reasons, and each one can set you adrift, floating ever further from one another, or they can strengthen your bond. It all depends on how you handle it, and success starts with changing your fighting worldview.

“The fight is never really with your spouse.”

When tensions arise, our first tendency is to blame our partner for their failures. It usually takes a while to admit (or even see) our own contributions to the situation. But, what if we took a step back? What if we changed our fighting worldview? Can we learn to operate outside the immediate reactions and see each fight as a battleground where our spouse and ourselves are on the same side of the field?

“The fight is with the enemy of your marriage.”

The term “enemy” here could have many meanings. The faithful woman who gave me the advice was using the term to designate the devil or Satan, adhering to our Christian beliefs. However, I truly believe that no matter what your belief system, or lack thereof, the advice remains sound. The enemy is external.

When fighting with my spouse, the situation resolves itself faster, and with better results for everyone, when we focus on the problem, not the fault. We strive to view each fight as a problem to solve, instead of an opportunity to attack each other. When we focus all our energy, all our anger, and all our passion on finding a solution, we come out of hellacious arguments stronger and more devoted to each other. This simple change of perspective turns a fight into a bonding experience. There’s something very satisfying about looking life’s most difficult circumstances in the face knowing that you and your partner will tackle them together. You’ll put your heads together, harness your strengths, and cover each other’s weaknesses to make the best of a bad situation.

Here’s how it works!

The Fight- Wife feels that husband never helps around the house, and she’s overwhelmed.

The Solution- Instead of nagging and screaming (which won’t work), blaming your husband for not loving you enough to see what you need, or shaming…solve the problem. He likely doesn’t see the things you do. It’s not on his radar. He’d help if you asked, but you don’t want to have to ask. Sound familiar?

When things are calm, sit down together and make a weekly schedule. List all the things that need to be done and who is to complete them. Each person can do chores in their own time and in their own way, but they must be done every week. Make a board to hang in your kitchen, and check them off each week as you complete them. Now no one has an excuse for not knowing what needs to be done.

This is just one example, but you get the gist of how it works.

It’s harder than it sounds.

Like most sound advice, this whole thing is easier said than done. When you’re in the heat of the moment, it’s difficult to pull back and refocus your energy. This is especially true when your spouse has committed that one offense. You know the one…that one you just fought about last month…the one you’ve fought about every month of your relationship…yeah, that one! It’s hard.

It takes ample self-discipline and maximal effort. You won’t get it right every time. Sometimes you’ll yell and scream first, but my hope is that you’ll sit down with your partner, when things are calm, and set the framework for your disagreements. Make up a signal or code word if you have to. Then, when things get ugly the next time around, you can remind each other where the enemy is. You can join sides, and tackle it together, looking for a solution that works for everyone and vanquishes the problem for good!

The Best Marital Advice

Strangely, the best marriage advice I was ever given boils down to just changing your mindset. It sounds so simple, but I’m living proof that it works. If this sounds like a bunch of hoodoo voodoo to you, just give it a shot. A complete change in your relationship may be much easier than you think. Dare to be different. Dare to fight differently. It might just save your marriage.

Written by: Abby Davis

The Absolute Best Marriage Advice I Ever Received

Marriage advice for new couples is free-flowing and sometimes unwarranted, but some of it actually helps! Here’s the best marital advice I ever received!

If you’re newly married or about to get married, you’ve probably been inundated with marital advice from Aunt Francis, grandma, your boss, and every other rando in your life. Some marital advice is useful. Some advice is definitely outdated or won’t vibe with your relationship. While every marriage is different and has its own hardships, some truths do stand in most healthy relationships. Some marital advice is worth its weight in gold!

The absolute best piece of advice my husband and I received was from an older woman in our church. She simply stated “The fight is never you against your husband. The fight is you and your husband against the enemy of your marriage.” I return to her phrase every time I’m raging at my husband, and I remember, he’s my partner for life. Every problem I have is his problem too, and the solution comes faster and easier when we tackle it together. Check out how we do it, and pass it along! “The Best Marital Advice I Received: Your Partner is Your Ally Not Your Enemy.” Link in the comments.

About Author

Abby is a professional relationship and travel writer currently working out of Southeast Asia. Before leaving for travel Abby was educated in biology and nursing and worked as a PICC nurse. While all things travel are her primary workload, she's passionate about seeing marriages and families thrive! Living, working, traveling, and spending every second of every day with her spouse has taught her a few valuable lessons about making a marriage work, and she's all about passing those nuggets of wisdom along. Abby is regularly published in multiple online spaces including Arkansas Frontier, Adventures From Scratch, Let's Roam, and Homebody Hall. You can also find her on YouTube at LostAmongLocals.

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