The problem of a stalemate
It happens in the best of marriages – and certainly in the worst. That is because a marriage consists of two imperfect people. A stalemate is “a situation in which further action or progress by opposing or competing parties seems impossible.”
You’re at an impasse, which is “a situation in which progress is impossible, especially because the people involved cannot agree.”
The problem is that there is a problem. And, to find a solution to the problem, you need to find a way out or through. To go from problem to solution, you must agree. You can’t – or won’t – agree.
You’re tired of giving in, tired of being the first to apologize, tired of the struggle. In the past, you’ve just given in because it was not worth the hassle.
Or, he thinks you must always have it your way, and if you won’t get your way, you’ll make him pay. He’s tired of giving up things he likes when you won’t concede, no matter what the issue.
You’ve locked horns and neither one is willing to – or wants to – give in or give up. There’s probably a history there in the way you’ve dealt with issues in the past. Maybe history keeps repeating itself, and one of you has thrown in the towel and said, “I’m not giving in this time!”
The solution to a stalemate
For starters, there are no 3 Easy Steps to Ending a Stalemate.
There are, however, some things you can do.
- Identify the real problem. What is the stalemate really about? [Do you even agree on that?!]
- Recognize that the enemy is not your spouse. It’s the devil, and he will n0t stop at anything to ruin your marriage. [He hasn’t stopped yet, has he?]
- What is your responsibility in this? I’m not talking “just submit” or “just bear it” or “that’s just the way men are”. I’m talking about your attitude, your history of dealing with conflict (right or wrong), and your responsibility in being a true help mete to your spouse. Keeping your mouth shut does nothing to help your spouse or your relationship. Spewing words out of anger does not do anything helpful either. [Really, has it ever?]
- Bring up the subject again when you are no longer angry or upset. Agree together to set aside a time you can both talk when you are not stressed. Pray. Ask God for wisdom to help you understand your man; ask God to give your man wisdom to understand you better. [He gives wisdom when we ask sincerely!]
- Use non-accusatory words. Nix the words “never” and “always”. [Them’s fighting words!]
- Use words of explanation and not accusation. “I feel like you don’t understand how important this is to me; I do not feel understood. Help me know how to explain this to you.” [You need him to help you understand him and to understand you.]
- Come up with possible choices and solutions together. Don’t make a decision without taking more time to think and pray about it. [Time has a way of healing and revealing.]
Become stalemate warriors
There are times when it seems impossible to get through an upheaval or an impasse. It seems there is no way forward and you can’t go back. You’ve talked and cried and prayed, but there is no peace.
Get help. Find somebody whose marriage breathes what you would like to have. If your spouse won’t go, go by yourself. Find somebody who can help you find your way. Do not allow Pride to keep you from finding help [another of Satan’s ploys.]
Every healthy marriage has its struggles, but the secret to a healthy marriage is that the couple keeps talking, praying, and working through things together. Sometimes they get help!
One sure-fire way to know how committed we are to our marriage is how much we are willing to work on communication so we can end a stalemate. When you’re at an impasse and can’t do it alone, get help. There’s no better way to deepen your commitment to each other than to get help as you work through struggles together. A healthy marriage is not without struggles. A healthy marriage will not let stalemates and struggles define it.
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