Same Argument, Different Day

by Mark Gungor

I am convinced one of the greatest problems that couples face in marriage, whether you have been together two years, 20 years or 40 years, is the fact that we have to deal with issues over and over and over… People get so frustrated when they keep circling around and coming back to the same arguments continuously and they never get resolved. Husbands and wives become convinced that there is something wrong with their marriage (or at least the other person!) and it can lead to great discouragement.

The truth is you may have to deal with some of these issues until the day one of you dies. Many couples think that once they’ve hashed something out, it will never come back and cause trouble again. But it’s not the reality of it. I’ve seen interviews with couples married a long time—like 65 or 75 years!—and when they are asked about how and when they resolved their differences, the answer is: they haven’t! They wrestled over the same things all these years later.

That’s life! It’s just the way it is. There will be some things that you continuously have to revisit. It can become exhausting and people can grow very weary. And the longer you have been married, the more tiring and discouraging it can be. The danger comes in when one spouse starts to think or say, “I can’t do this anymore.” It implies that you are giving up, that you won’t try and that you won’t fight for your marriage anymore. That must never be an option. We must always be willing to revisit and clean up the mess… no matter how often it appears.

It’s like being a dairy farmer cleaning up after his cows. Now farming can be very profitable and a person can get great gains from it, but the farmer also has to contend with all the mess! What if he or she went out to the barn one time, took care of all of the poop, then expected it to never come back? That would make no sense at all. It’s exactly the same in marriage where we have to keep cleaning the barn… even if it’s the same mess over and over. Because we are fallible human beings, living in a fallen world, we can mess up repeatedly and we just have to be willing to deal with it.

People live under the delusion that because they have talked about something or tackled it once, that it should be done, but it’s not true. Often problems arise from differences in temperament or just ingrained habits. But honestly, so much of what couples are faced with in marriage has a lot to do with pure selfishness on our parts. And because dying to self is a life long process, so is dealing with all the stuff that happens in our relationship in the meantime.

Wouldn’t it be great if just one discussion with your spouse early in your marriage took care of all the problems, issues, and garbage that could possibly come along? But that’s not how it works. Even the Apostle Paul wrote in that “he who marries will have trouble in this life.” Paul knew that being married was fraught with trials. We expect there to be problems in other areas, like in our jobs, in the church, with our kids, but some how in marriage we think that there should be a “one-time-fix-all” solution.

Parents will show, explain, teach, and discuss many times something they want their child to learn. They generally have the perseverance that it takes to stick with raising their kids and dealing with issues repeatedly. Parents who don’t, raise hellions! But that’s a whole other problem. You need to apply that same perseverance to your marriage and keep at it. You don’t clean your house one time and then think that it’s supposed to stay clean and perfect. Same is true for your marital relationship—you have to continuously take out the trash, deal with the stuff and junk and then you get a bit of a respite. But realize that the garbage will keep on coming and you will have to revisit it again.

Don’t grow weary; don’t give up. Readjust your expectations and know that it’s ok. Maybe you “can’t do this anymore” today, but regroup. Take a deep breath, face the issue yet again and remember that it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your marriage because you are arguing about the same thing for the 547th time. Be like the dairy farmer and just clean up the mess and enjoy the “in the meantime” until you have to face it again.

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    63 Responses to “Same Argument, Different Day”

    1. Brandon wrote:

      Ok whew so my spouse and I are normal. That’s a good sign. This was always a minor cause of tension, thanks for clearing that up

    2. Chris Cree wrote:

      It is encouraging to know our marriage is not abnormal in this. But it is also sobering to hear that those same arguments are likely to keep coming around indefinitely.

    3. Jim wrote:

      I lead marriage groups several times a week. Seems every couple has 3-5 unresolvable issues or perpetual problems. According to John Gottman, for all couples, 69% of their arguments are about perpetual problems. That makes every one pretty normal. And requires a lot of grace and mercy for each other.

    4. Faith wrote:

      Its a hard truth that we actually have to live with some of these issues…but hearing this makes me feel like am okay and normal…Thx Pastor Mark.

    5. Jane wrote:

      I am sort of relieved when I read this. We have been married for over 30 years, & plain truth is we just brought way too much past baggage from our families into our marriage. I’ve gotten to the point of healing with & only God’s love, but my hubby won’t, he is on one psych. medication for his severe anger problem, ( some severe stuff from his past). And when I vent- which I don’t do much anymore- he just has all the same reactions he use to have, before he was on anger meds., Which mean, from what 2 counselors have said to him, he needs to find peace with God & himself, & forgive !!!! So, reading this article was uplifting to me, besides I enjoy the tv program a lot, & also the little inspirational messages I get into my in box each day.

    6. Cass wrote:

      Again you’ve nailed it.

      This is a major issue for me, it seems the “same thing” comes up several times a month and I have said those very words ” I can’t do this anymore” cause in my heart and brain I’m so mentally exhausted , I truly feel as if I can not fight the fight.

      Someday I wish I had the insight Paul had when it comes to marriage, it may have been better not to have married :P
      80 years? GAH!

    7. bob hibbard wrote:

      My wife is not a very good housekeeper. We have had to many discussions about keeping the house clean. She goes to school less than 10 hrs per week and does not have an outside job. She has an a average so I know she understands. I am so tired of asking her to clean up her messes that I am ready for divorce. To make matters worst is that we made a discision to move in with my father in order to give her time to go back to school and we could finically afford. My father is absolutely upset to the point where is going to ask us to move out. nnMy father has been very gracious and not said very much except politely ask her to clean up her mess, which she does reluntly. Now when asked she is getting sharp replays and disrepecting him.

      • Brandon wrote:

        Have you guys taken the flag page? Sounds like you and your father might rank “organized” or “neat” pretty high up, where if that’s not a priority to her she may not understand your need. and to her it’s pointless and becomes nagging, which would explain why she’s barking back.
        It would match the profile of me and my wife. she ranks neat and organized on the top of her list, but to me it completey doesn’t even phase me at home. i leave my whitey’s and socks and pants and everything out all over the floor because it doesn’t even phase me, it’s not like i’m purposefully not picking it up. i just don’t realize what i’m doing. until i found out that the way my wife is built is to be ‘neat’ and when i do leave stuff out it completely sends her world into dismay. so now when i remember i pick up my stuff and do my part. but on days i don’t forget, it doesn’t irritate her because she understands that it’s not in my nature to even notice the things. it’s not like i’m purposefully trying to be “not neat”

        hence the power of the flag page, it really brings understanding and takes away a lot of the strife when really, no strife is meant

        just my 2 cents

      • arlene wrote:

        Bob…..has it ever occured to you that maybe you could do the cleaning and then your father and you will be happy. It will show your wife that you care about her instead of being angry. Then maybe she will see that you love her and maybe she will start doing some of the work. She may not have been brought up cleaning and she just needs love. Hmmmmm I guess I can take some of my own advice and take out the garbage for my husband. I am not a real cleaner but when I do and it looks beautiful and then someone comes along and messes it up no matter how small of a mess I get very discouraged. Unfortunately I was raised with maids and I am used to being picked up after but I do take pride in my work when it is finished.

    8. Carolynn Burton wrote:

      I have this issue with the person that is in my life now. We both come from very broken backgrounds and have been in very bad situations with others and not had resolve. The good Lord has done a wonderful job with healing before we met and this is probably for both of us one of the most normal relationships we have had to date.

      Thank you so much for your candor and courage to keep on keeping it real it is greatly appreciated. One of the biggest problems I now see is we pretend way too much and run way too soon.

      Carolynn Burton

    9. Mike wrote:

      I’m finding when the “same thing” comes up after 33 yrs together, I immediately retreat to my Nothing Box and, for me, it the “same thing” becomes nothing. Very unfortunately, my wife doesn’t have that option.

      • Lon wrote:

        As a wife of 32 years, when you retreat to your nothing box when “the same thing” comes up again, it’s like the farmer going into the hay mow to ignore the cow poop that needs to be cleaned up. It’s very frustrating and only compounds the issue for women! Like Mark says, take the time to clear up or resolve the issue for now at least make us (the wives) feel like you still have some sort of stake in the marriage. If it doesn’t get resolved at least for now sooner or later we’ll just check out emotionally and your nothing box won’t give you much satisfaction anymore.

      • Susan wrote:

        Mike, my husband does exactly what you say you do. I say he sweeps things under the rug, and that is his “nothing box” What will it take for you to come out of the nothing box? Inside from the mind of a man who also lives in that “ignore and it will magically go away – briefly anyway” I am at that I’m ignoring back phase and we are NO WHERE. So in your mind, what will it take? Suggestions for me, please!!!

        • Brandon wrote:

          Remember, a man retreats to the Nothing Box because that’s how he deals with stress. Whereas a woman HAS to talk about it, that’s how you deal with stress. I would suggest sitting through Mark Gungor’s “Men’s Brains, Women’s Brains” and this might create an understanding on WHY your spouse reacts the way he/she reacts. If you can both begin to understand the reasons for why the other is reacting the way they react, it can really take away a lot of the hostility. He’s not purposefully retreating just to tick you off, or because he doesn’t care.

          In the same way when you HAVE to talk about it and it makes you fume when he goes to his Nothing Box, you have to realize that the same is vice-versa. He HAS to go to his Nothing Box to deal with the stress and it makes him fume when you want to talk about it. Now does this mean “just get over it?” Of course not – it simply brings understanding. and when you understand how your spouse works (and that they are NOT the bad guy), it’s a lot easier to find a common ground to discuss the problems on.

          Please remember, your spouse is not your enemy!

    10. Tom wrote:

      After 32+ years of marriage there are certainly a few issues that have surfaced more than once.

      What often seems to be at issue is that one of us never really acknowledges that we were part of the problem initially. Admitting that I was part of the problem and asking for forgiveness not only helps to diffuse the issue but sends a message to the other that I “know” it takes two of us to “tango”. Sometimes I’m the problem and other times it’s her.

      Taking ownership of my part in the “old issue” and not needing to be right (whether I am or not doesn’t matter) is important. If I was in the wrong and won’t admit it or if I was right and the need to be right continues to fuel the issue then my spouse will never feel that we can get past the issue. Although perception is not always the same as reality, it’s important to try to see things from the other persons perspective, since it’s real to them.

      Bottom line is that admitting that we each had a part in the issue, and asking for and giving forgiveness, will help put old issues to rest.

    11. Elizabeth wrote:

      I was married for 15 years and now I pray that it is the will of the Heavenly Father to allow me someone to have differences with and just to enjoy companionship. On the other hand,I have been single for 8 years and I can tell you, singleness is not a gift, it is a task just like marriage. In both of these adventures and roads that I have traveled, the Heavenly Father has given and continues to give persevere.

    12. Jerry wrote:

      We have been married 36 years yesterday and we also go round and round about petty issues, and we do well working things out. I also have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) that I received six years ago from a fall down a flight of stairs head first into a block wall at work. So, there are issues with my memory, my personality, and habits that usually aren’t included in the marriage package. For the last two years I have been attending a special program for ABI patients in Costa Mesa CA at Coastline Community College and some things have improved and some haven’t. We attended Mark’s seminar in Yorba Linda, CA and learned a lot that weekend and it has been a gift from God. I love my wife and we have both used that language, “I can’t do this anymore!”, but worked through it all. I have given my wife the option of leaving because I am not the guy she signed up for anymore and I understand what she’s going through, but she stays and still loves me. If the two of us can do this for 36 years and put six years of ABI issues on top of that, just about anyone can, the little stuff just don’t matter! Live life with the person you love and God and be patient and communicate peacefully and calmly. It will be OK.

    13. Jessica wrote:

      I really think it depends on the “problem” I am currently seperated from my husband because of alcoholism. I’d be happy to deal with socks on the floor or too many phone calls from his Mother instead of verbal abuse and potential physical abuse.
      I do believe that there has to be an ” I can’t do this anymore” attitude with SOME problems.

      • Nancy wrote:

        Jessica
        Good luck to you. I ended a 19 year marriage in 1997 because of alcoholism & abuse and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a Christian. Keep your eyes on Christ & he will lead & guide you. I picked a scripture & put it on my mirror & read it every day several times and that got me through. I am now blessed with a wonderful husband and father to my two daughters of 8 years.

    14. Ginger wrote:

      Thanks!
      I just had that “I can’t do this anymore” attitude for what seems like all week. I often hear “Oh well, you’ll just have to agree to not agree.” That doesn’t work for me. Knowing that it’s normal to rehash differences in opinion, is a much need breath of fresh air. Thanks for the reassurance!

      • Rhonda wrote:

        U say it doesn’t work 4 u 2 agree 2 disagree-u r going 2 have 2 accept that, because sometimes it is the only option & the last resort.

    15. Christie wrote:

      This a stumbling block in my marriage, 14 years this month, and I love your insight into our every day issues. I look forward to reading these. We have attended one of your Laugh Your to a Better Marriage events and boy was I glad I dragged my husband along, he was too after the event. However it is not easy to remember all of your advice after awhile, and these reminders are fabulous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    16. Gareth Richards wrote:

      I have found that those times are actually the very place where I discovered grace. Jesus told us to forgive 70 times 7 in a day to show how much more than that He forgives us & how much we are to get used to a lifestyle of over & over again. Situations & conversations that seem to be the enemy of our souls, but are instead part of the answer for the other party & for ourselves. Here’s a tip- next time you go round the mountain on something & finally get through it say something like this,”Hey this keeps coming up,how can we approach it with our sense of humor next time because it is a bit of a joke how I keep stumbling in this area” I found that even when you are convinced the other person is at fault taking some or a lot of ownership for the issue and then trying a fun approach that let’s the other person still feel validated & heard, yet feeling released to start laughing at the situation and themselves as a couple, can have huge benefits! In this way it’s almost as if you come alongside the person and address the issue as a team with the issue being the enemy that you mock and poke fun at rather than the one you cherish and love.

    17. Josh wrote:

      I am growing weary. I’m mentally falling for the trap of cutting off my nose to spite my face when it comes to dealing the same issue over and over. Even the barn illustration caused me problems; Cleaning up cow poop is ok, but if I have Mad Cow disease going on, it’s time to shoot the old heffer and be done with it. Ok, ok! Stinking thinkin!!! But pressure is building up and I am disheartened. My wife’s depression is working it’s way to becoming my depression. I fear telling her how I really feel; it will crush her. Allowing her to diminish my role as her husband crushes me. Not having done anything to confront our malaise makes it seem too late… same ol’ same ol; it won’t get better just worse. (Eeyore) There’s no great solace in the fact that I’m not seeking a divorce. Just feels like we’re shuttin down when life COULD be so good!

      • alyssa wrote:

        Josh,
        I think it is important that you tell her how you feel. Maybe hash it out with a friend so you can decide how but she needs to know. I have a physical disability and struggle with depression at times but what happens to me is that I can tell when people around me are affected by my disability and when they lie about it, it only feeds my depression. Sometimes just admitting that you feel helpless to those you love makes a huge difference. You never know what may help her depression. Hope this helps. God Bless

      • Octavia wrote:

        Josh, I dwelt with depression for about six years. My husband retreated into his “nothing box”(I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time)so well, that I felt abandoned. By God’s grace a wonderful woman of God came into my life that taught me how to pray and use God’s word to receive my deliverance and healing. I too, had a lot of negative issues that plagued my life. I don’t know your wife’s reason for the depression, but Josh, if my husband would have said, “I don’t know how to help you, but I’m willing to pray and seek God for help with you.” That would have meant the world to me. So if all you can do is take your wife’s hand and pray with her, don’t let her walk alone!

    18. Allison wrote:

      Thank you for acknowledging this topic….although, just thinking about the repeat issues (and the kicking of the dead horse) is exhausting, I will try to take a different approach, the next time I feel the tension arising. I am going to try my best to nip it in the bud and make light of the issue, before I let myself go to that ugly place. I’m betting there will be a sense of accomplishment, instead of feelings of “yuck”….perhaps, eventually it will become a conditioned response.

    19. Smitty wrote:

      Being celibate for 10 years before getting married, I’m finding the sex issue keeps being an issue in my marriage (married for 1 1/2) and it seems that we just cannot get on the same accord….I’m glad to hear that it’s normal for things to keep repeating even after you have discussed, argued or talked it into the ground

    20. Phylis wrote:

      This is so true. Thanks-a-million. Often times one may think why? Am I foolish, being taken for granted, or ignored. But to really hear that it is normal from you reassured me that it’s really okay. That love, does allow it and in love and wanting my marriage is simply–NORMAL. This makes me feel this is good and get my marriage pooper scooper ready-I may have to use it at anytime:)
      Thanks & God Bless you more!

    21. Lenny Ransil wrote:

      my $.02
      This topic brings up the attending issue of whether singles should go the “E harmony” route to look for relative compatability – in temperment, values, interests etc. that some would call “boring”
      OR
      the “opposites attract” route (often based on insecurity that “makes up for what I don’t have or desire in myself” type thinking.)
      It seems to me that the chronic, non-resolution of differences your article points at would be minimized if compatability would be stressed and valued. And, as you also effectively demonstate, there are monumental differences between genders already. How is adding to those working for us?

      Maybe that is one reason why arranged marriages in other cultures last much longer(and demand less of each other) than those in America. Parents often know their children – and what is a good “fit” for them – better than the children themselves do (especially at 18.)
      Again, as you have pointed out, much of this results from unrealistic expectations – individually and culturally in what marriage “should do for ME.” Much more of (the true) God and much less of me – for all concerned – is the key.
      LR
      PS. Great ministry in debunking myths and “bringing to light what has been hidden.” (My daughter-in-law is a Chriatian sex-tharapist which has also led to many interesting and frank discussions!) Thanks Mark

    22. Pat wrote:

      My husband and I are going thru this again for the ? time! He gets angry, tells me where I am wrong and all I want him to do is listen to me, ask me questions about what I’ve said and show a little compasssion. Instead he just lets it go and waits for me to, I don’t know, change to his way of thinking? It’s frustrating and totally dibilitates all the good things that have happened in the marraige. I end up thinking that he just doesn’t care and has never really cared.

      • Susan Davis wrote:

        I used to think the same way about my husband and our marriage until God showed me through Mark’s teachings that I had stinking thinking. My expectations were unrealistic for a man. Apparently, I was expecting my husband to respond to me like another woman would (listening to me without interrupting, asking questions to gain a better understanding, and showing compassion and empathy)and because he didn’t meet my expectations, I was hurt and felt that he didn’t care! It was like an epiphany! I now have a greater understanding of my husband and I am now able to separate the issues from the person.

        Thank you Mark for being God’s instrument!

    23. Madi wrote:

      I don’t know if I should be overjoyed or overwhelmed after reading this! Cleaning up Poop is exhausting!!! especially for the 547th time! I know…I keep chanting: His Grace Is Sufficient for ME :)

    24. Erica wrote:

      What if the spouse is gambling-staying out late and not calling…

      • Earl wrote:

        For me, that is unacceptable. Going out with spousal acknowledgement (notice I didn’t say approval) is one thing, but to not even provide enough respect to limit the time you go out, let alone not even calling is very respectful. No, maybe you aren’t doing something (such as cheating with another person), but that person’s actions are a way of telling the other person they aren’t important enough to them.

      • Jennie wrote:

        Have you tried marriage counseling with a faith based counselor? I would sit him down and have a serious talk with him that this type of behavior is unacceptable for a spouse and then discuss how he intends to change it. He may have a gambling addiction and need to seek help for it. If that is the situation then I would give him a time frame in which you expect him to start to seek help. You can be supportive by offering to go with him but it is his responsibility to change if he wants to. Pray for him and your marriage. Ask God to guide you in your efforts to save this marriage. I will pray for you.

    25. Earl wrote:

      Know what kills me? It isn’t the fact that a problem comes around more than once, but when you address the problem and it gets worse and all you hear are excuses. I’m not trying to minimize my spouse’s day, but at some point you have to except that a “job is a job” and you will have to deal with it and that while you may bring it home, you don’t need to bring it home every day and ruin the rest of the evening or weekend or whatever. Right?

      • Rhonda wrote:

        If she’s bringing it home everyday, then apparently it’s really bad. Maybe she feels she’s not being listened too & therefore she keeps hammering away at you. Maybe she is too needy-I don’t know-I’m not there; just food for thought.

    26. Naomi wrote:

      What a relief to read these responses. I am not married but in a relationship with someone who has habits that drive me off the wall. A few being, being late to almost every appointment we’ve had until I am almost shouting so loud with anger that I cannot even recognize my own voice and then he will show up on time and make up for all those arguments. It is how his brain works. Then here’s another huge problem.. Whenever I want to discuss something he would say, ” I don’t want to argue right now!” and for the love of God ” I haven’t even started to say what I really want to say for the relief before I blow up!” So yes, You go to that ugly place where I would resent him, hate him and just pace up and down my living room talking to myself like a mad woman.. how dare he disrespects me etc etc… So frustration is an understatement. It sometimes shakes your core being… but when you understand how some people are wired and not to mention the gender difference… I almost think unless 2 people are absolutely compatible why the effort… it’s HARD

    27. Edith wrote:

      Hi! I been married for 13 years now. This is my first mariage and second mariage for my husband. I have pain, hurts and frustrations inside in me. My husband is a a talker and I am not. I have two young kids and they have very manner. When my husband starts calling me names I can’t take it and I’m so mad. Sometimes I throw things to express my hurts and pain. I can’t compete his reasoning. I feel like I can’t take it anymore. He gets mad easily and few minutes later his fine. For me, it takes a little longer to get mad and takes longer to recover. The thing is after he calls me names few minutes he says sorry and said he did not mean it. But he keeps doing it though. Is this abuse of what he is doing to me? Sometimes, I call him names as well after he calls me names.

    28. Suzan wrote:

      I don’t believe that gambling, adultery, alcohol abuse, dishonesty, blatant and intentional disrespect are included in the pooh you should just clean everyday. However, these issues can and should be addressed and resolved even if it means seeing a good (preferably christian) counselor. These are destructive behaviors to both the doer and the victim. Setting boundries might be necessary and these will more than likely be addressed by the counsellor. Sometimes people treat us badly because they think we will let them get away with anything. They have to know (like children) what the boundaries are and the consequences (not threats) if these boundaries are crossed. Remember however, to differentiate between mistakes and plain rebellion or abuse. Always temper justice with mercy.

    29. Colleen Christopher wrote:

      Well, now I can relax. I live by myself. If there is a problem, it is
      with me, there is no one else to blame. It is quiet, living without the
      caos of alcoholism. I stand my ground. It will be a long time, until I
      let someone back in. I don’t think marriage includes losing your mind
      with all the lies. Oh, yeah, I know who I am or am not sleeping with.
      Thank God I go to church every week.

    30. Denise Leal wrote:

      That is the stand I took as well, only my husband decided the “thats it” approach was a better way to deal with it. Not only did he leave me he also left a son that doesn’t understand why daddy just left us. Ten years of living with a Praise and Worship Leader that had addiction problems that were definalty NOT so Christian like. People need to stick it out and love each other thru thick and thin.Trust, love, and above all, respect each other.

    31. Denise Leal wrote:

      I have just re-read some of the comments on addictions. Gambling, alcohol, drug. I just found it hard to not let the frustrations of my marriage to a sex addict keep cropping up. Its hard to let something go,when they don’t come home after work, or want to go on fishing trips with imaginary friends,and KNOW in your heart thats NOT where they are. Then you have to hear that it’s YOUR fault when it happens time and time again.We did the Christian counseling, but even they could not help him give it up.We are divorced now because of MY lack of Trust.

    32. Kara wrote:

      hi,i’ve been married for 10 yrs this sept. just found out in 2007 my husband had an affair, after 2 yrs now the problem we are facing is that he thinks i want to get back at him for the affair so he tells me i should’nt be too nice to men b’cos it will mean i want to sleep with them. my huby was a really jealous person even before i found out about the affair now its even worst. this is really taking a toll on me physically and mentally,am tired and want out, he says he doesn’t want a divorce, but i can’t continue like this anymore. What do i do please!!!!!!!!

    33. LeeAnn wrote:

      Ugh. Having a hard time seeing the point of marriage. You have to live together long enough to figure out what these recurring issues are, then it’s too late to walk away. Sorry, but there’s not enough sex on the planet to make me want to get married again… If it’s not the kids, it’s the parents, if not money, then the jobs. It never ends. I’m convinced that Paul had a very valid point on this subject. Just say “no!” Good luck to all y’all out there; I can only hope that at least some of you are blissfully ignorant (oops, I mean happy)! :0)

    34. Rhonda wrote:

      Whew! I’m glad to hear all this. I thought my husband & I were the only ones who did this & that something was wrong w/us. I thought the constant “going around in circles”, or I like what Joyce Meyer says-”going around the same mountain” over & over, was just a wear-down tactic my husband was using to get me to throw in the towel so he could have victory. I thought 17 yrs. was ridiculous to keep rehashing something; I’m so sorry for all you people who have been at it much longer. I feel better knowing we’re not alone, however, that is disturbing news to hear that there will be things thay may go on til death. No wonder people get discourged & say (I’ve said the same thing) “I just can’t do this anymore”. We’re human & w/o God’s help & grace, we can only take so much. God bless the Gungors & all the other bloggers-let’s all pray that God will show us the way out of the recycled argument pattern.

    35. shou wrote:

      I’m not to try to give up my marriage but I lived with my selfish husband that he’s a narcissist personality, he wouldn’t listen no matter in what I said. I was try to fixed my marriage. It’s unfair for me, I was the only one who tried to work on the marriage. Adventurious, I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m no a woman that let go easily but I have to because make me unhappy. He said that I’m a low life, a whore what else it can do, if someone stay in this kind of relationship. I lose my hope of him. I stayed in this kind of relationship for 4 years. I was always who cleaned the house. He never did nothing in the house. I’m very hurt and miss him a lot. Marriage need two people to fix, not only one person.

    36. carley wrote:

      honestly i am not really sure what to write i was really upset when i typed in “is there truth in angry words?” to google but now that i read a few articles i still wonder maybe its not the fact he’s yelling but when we fight he gets so angry and normally i apologize the whole time.
      unfourtunatley i was in a bad mood already today and i sent a few texts out of aggravation saying things like fine forget it and stuff along those lines and when he called i expressed that i had been aggravated and i even apologized… but he read the texts after the nice phone call .. and was furious overly furious even. the thing is i have heard the speech before several times and i am starting to get offended myself. normally he gets mad and i forgive and forget. so he asked me ” what can he do to make this work” he demanded a answer but honestly i have no idea when i expressed this i got called several more names and he insults my intelligence as well.
      he often tells me he is tired of repeating himself. he says often i dont listen. that i dont have common sence.
      by close to the end of the phone call i give him several answers to the question what can he do to stay with me ? i asked him to forgive me he yells that i inturrupted him. i sit silently on the phone and finally let him speak after hearing it. i explained my bad day to him and he says well so have i and you didnt know cuz you were to wrapped up in your own anger.
      we laughed said our goodnights i will be so glad when he gets home tommorow he was only gone three days and we are apart how is it we could have much to fight about.
      i only have one problem many things trigger that same fight he says loads of mean things and when hes angry the words burn me.
      sometimes words are spoken and they cut so deeply they leave scars time cant heal.
      it feels like with every time he goes into the angry fit i loose a piece of something important to me yet i cant recall what it might be.
      is what i am going through normal?
      and how can i fix it? i keep promising to do better and it keeps repeating because i dont know why i am promising something i have no idea how to accomplish and i dont wanna ruin my marriage either.
      i am not sure i just cant remember a few years of things he dont want to repeat. and he explains it i just cant seem to listen all the time i am so confused. our fights are always started over something i see as not even a issue.
      i would love to give examples but alot of times i dont even remember .
      today was me i guess what made him mad was my anger. he was supposed to come home we had plans. he stayed an extra day to go hunting. i really just wanted him home.
      not to be called worthless.
      i dont want to fight over who has angry rights or rather or not i followed every word of what he says to a “t”.
      he goes right back to the “mines” and “yours” as in its no longer our car or our home .
      thanks for letting me vent. please send advice i wanna save my marriage before one of us crack and mean it when we say we cant take it anymore and we do have children. most days we do somedays they are only parts of the yours list.

      • Immanuel wrote:

        I’m interested to see what Mark’s advice was to this.
        I see myself in Carley’s husband to a degree (pardon my self righteousness, but I don’t call my girl names). I recognize I tend to get angry at her character, which I also admit is a difficult thing to change and I know from experience. In my opinion, I think Carley’s issues with husband is past a healthy level. They seems to be a lack of balance.

    37. Ron Wean wrote:

      Could it be that the “same thing” keeps coming up because the trauma behind it has not been debriefed, processed, or integrated into our learning? I believe we choose partners whom we believe will “get it”, will get us, will get our hurts and sorrows and traumas that we all carry, regardless of upbringing. We marry partners because we believe they will be healing in our lives, and when they don’t get it, or don’t understand, or are not helpful with those traumas, we keep bringing it up for some kind of resolution. Our persistence in repeatedly “bringing it up again” is a measure of our faith in them to be the person we initially saw: the healer, the completer, the lover and friend. – Ron Wean, rwean@sbcglobal.net

    38. Vanessa wrote:

      This was very encouraging to read, as my husband and I have been wondering if we are compatible at all! We’ve been married for 33 years and it’s still such hard work. There have certainly been wonderful times, but there have been hurts and disappointments along the way, too. We see other couples who have been married for decades and their marriages are a challenge, also. Thank you for this hope!

    39. Arthur wrote:

      I agree with Brandon, the flag page should help a lot in understanding one another. Then also giving love in the way your wife receives it. The ” five love languages” book is aliso a helpful to. Love, love love and die to self. Hopefully you and your wife, can move on your own soon, living with your Dad will not help the oneness of your marriage

    40. Martin wrote:

      Gary Chapman’s book, Happily Ever After is a great source of ideas how to resolve marital conflict. I’m not sure we need to regurgitate the same issues over and over in light of what he wrote. In some cases, we can find compromises, and others, we need to accept that our partners are not exactly as we would like but need to learn to live with that. No standard answer, but certainly there are solutions…

    41. salvares wrote:

      Thanks, it s perfect message for me today!

    42. Jessica wrote:

      That’s all well and good, but what do you do when the same argument is that your spouse puts everything and everybody ahead of you and your marriage. I’m on the verge of walking out because I honestly can’t take being ignored anymore.

    43. Susana wrote:

      Can you please let me know were in the Bible, can I find “he who marries will have trouble in this life.” Thank you.

    44. Deb wrote:

      Always wondered if I had a speech impediment or he had a hearing impediment….

    45. Charly wrote:

      While I understand your comment and comparison with the dairyman, I would have to say that the dairyman does not deal daily with the cleaning as he pays a Mexican to deal with the mess while he goes to play golf….while we deal with the mess and pay a counselor to help us deal with it….
      Love your program,
      Charly & Sheila…

    46. Donna Varnes wrote:

      my husband and I have been married for 45 years. We are total opposites as far as interests and personality types go, For years we had very little in common but our kids. but one of the things that has really helped us settle disputes is our total commitment to pleasing God and trying to do his will. Therefore we keep praying about a matter separately and together, until we come to agreement as to what we think the Lord is telling us. It is not “are we going to do things my way or your way” but we are going to do things God’s way. I’m not surprised when he changes his mind, but I’m usually surprised when I change mine.

    47. Joanna wrote:

      God bless you, Pastor Mark,
      You are a gigantic gift to the world from our God!
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom on marriage and sendng us these wit and wisdom notes to help us in this journey of married life! Please keep them coming! I had to laugh so hard and thank God for your many gifts and talents!
      We love you and family!

      Joanna and Rick

    48. marilyn wrote:

      Wow…how true…I have to agree with everyone else that this makes me feel normal too…I wish there was a quick fix, but of course that will be after I’m dead…smile!

     
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