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We fought off and on all day long, never really resolving any issues. By evening, we were both weary from the battle, both nursing wounds, both feeling like failures who just can’t seem to get this marriage thing right.
Then after desperate prayers for rescue, finally – a breakthrough. We set our stubbornness aside and admit to our sin, our weakness, our need. We confess, both to each other and to the Lord. We reconcile.
The argument is over, so why do I still feel so out-of-sorts, defeated?
Have you experienced this phenomenon, friends? The post-argument hangover can leave you feeling stuck, unable to move on if you let it. It keeps you mired right where the Enemy wants you.
What we need is a gameplan to help us overcome!
4 Ways to Overcome the Post-argument Hangover
1. Remember who you are in Christ.
Now that the fight has been resolved and you are right with one another and right with God, you’ll still have those leftover human emotions and hormones flooding your body. The Enemy is sure to sieze this opportunity to envelop you with debilitating guilt – the kind that leaves you feeling stuck and unable to move on. The kind of guilt that calls you a bad wife. The kind of guilt that tells you your arguing is ruining your children. The kind of guilt that whispers you’ll never change. The guilt that leaves you feeling hopeless and helpless.
Arm yourself with truth from the Word and fight to claim your status as beloved daughter of the King, holy and blameless before God because of the blood of Jesus, a work-in-progress woman who isn’t finished yet.
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Rom. 8:33-35 (NASB)
It’s not the end of the story, friend. The Enemy has no right to accuse you any longer! Remembering your birthright gives you the weapon you need to defeat that post-argument hangover.
2. Remember who your husband is in Christ (or who he is without Christ if he is an unbeliever).
If your husband is a Christ-follower, then remind yourself that he is merely a work-in-progress, too. God’s not finished with him yet, just like He’s not done with you. It’s unfair to expect perfection! Learning to recognize the progress you are making dramatically affects your marriage.
Those changes you would like to see in your marriage and in your husband – keep praying for them just like the persistent widow from Luke 18. Jesus instructs us to follow her example in praying without losing heart.
“And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?’ ” Luke 18:6-7 (NASB)
If your husband is not a believer, remember that he is at a disadvantage. He doesn’t have the Spirit of the Living God within him to help him choose right. For that reason, his battle to do right is a little bit tougher than yours. Have compassion on him and keep praying.
“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NASB)
3. Pray together for your marriage.
Overcome the post-argument hangover by first confessing your sin. Ask the Father to renew a right spirit in you and in your husband. Ask for protection from the attacks of the Enemy. Lift your voice to the Father who is able to bring about change in you! There’s something both powerful and intimate about crying out to the Lord together with your spouse.
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1
4. Plan time to reconnect away from distractions.
The best way to avoid a post-argument hangover is not to fight in the first place, but on this side of Heaven, such perfection just isn’t possible!
In our seventeen years of marriage, I’ve found that we fight more frequently when we are both under a burden of stress, usually due to an overwhelmed schedule. When we’re too busy, we miss out on that all-important time to connect with each other. We grow short-tempered. We miscommunicate more often because we are hurrying here and there rather than stopping to make a game plan.
Suddenly we find ourselves on opposite teams with conflicting agendas. The longer this pattern continues, the wider the distance grows until one day when that man you live with fails to take out the trash after you asked him three times, he’s no longer your hard-working husband who is trying his best – no, in your mind he’s become the selfish jerk who expects you to do everything. The lack of connection leaves us with a skewed perspective, doesn’t it?
Don’t give your sinful nature or the Enemy the opportunity to degrade your husband and your marriage in such a way. Make time together a priority even if it’s just washing the dishes or going for a walk.
My friend, marriage is hard work. Even Christian marriage is hard work, and the Enemy surely wants us to fail. We must be on guard. We must be warrior wives who never give up fighting for the kind of love relationship our Father God intended us to experience.
Don’t let a post-argument hangover set you up for a subsequent failure.
Arm yourself with truth instead!
Sharing at Grace & Truth