Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Make your conflict count
New book helps couples deal with
conflict to create healthy marriages
It’s a familiar scenario: He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about, and she has trouble getting him to see her point of view. In every marriage, there is conflict. In their new book, Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (Abingdon Press, June 21, 2016/ ISBN 978-1426790935/$14.99), Deb and Ron DeArmond give couples tools to fight fair when conflicts arise.
“Conflict is not the real problem,” note the authors. “It’s how we deal with the conflict that determines where it takes us. Conflict can lead to discovery — greater insight and understanding of our partner’s thoughts, feelings and perspective — or destruction of the relationship. It’s up to us to choose which direction we will go: discovery or destruction.”
Deb DeArmond has more than 30 years of experience teaching adults about communication and conflict resolution, whereas Ron has as many years of Christian counseling, instruction and leadership development, primarily in ministry to men. The book is born out of their combined backgrounds.
Don’t Go to Bed Angry helps couples fight fair, which can lead to discovery and ultimately to stronger marriages. Communication through healthy conflict can produce greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings and perspectives that can safeguard relationships.
The authors’ goal for this book is to equip couples with the tools to nurture their relationships to go the distance. “We believe you can build the required skill and knowledge to resolve life’s conflicts in a manner that honors the covenant of your marriage and deepens the relationship — not only between the two of you, but with God as well,” the DeArmonds said.
Don’t Go to Bed Angry includes insights from couples that the authors surveyed and interviewed about their experiences with conflict and its effect on their marriages. As the DeArmonds examined those responses, a pattern emerged. They noted that conflict in marriage tends to fall into six categories, which they organized the book around: burdens, baggage, bridges, barriers, boundaries and blessings. Each one reveals a facet of conflict that brings couples closer to solutions.
“We’ve been married for many years,” the authors said. “Much of what we learned took us longer than we wish it had. We don’t have all the answers or a perfect record in using what we know. What we have acquired through our life experience and through God’s Word is the understanding that marriage is worth fighting for, and you don’t have to be born knowing how to do it.”
Designed to create and support healthy dialogue between husband and wife, Don’t Go to Bed Angry is a tool to help couples fight for their marriages. It offers readers real-life examples, personal testimonies and biblical wisdom. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, related Scripture passages, journaling prompts and a prayer. Resources include a quick reference list for managing conflict and guidelines for creating vision, values and mission statements.
Don’t Go to Bed Angry is not a book of shoulds; it’s filled with practical ideas, conversation starters and opportunities for self-discovery in every chapter. This gives couples a path, a plan and the promise of God’s word to achieve the marriage they long for: one aligned with God’s word that honors him and produces life in their union.
About the Authors