08-Apr-11 Why We Fight!


One of the most common sources of conflict between husbands and wives comes down to a simple matter of differing assumptions.  Let me illustrate.

Some years ago I went through a very hectic period of my life professionally.  I was a full-time professor at a medical school, but I was also traveling and speaking far more than usual.  I  completely exhausted myself during this time.  Now, it was a dumb thing to do, but I had made these commitments, and I simply had to meet them.  Finally, on a Friday night, the siege was over and I came dragging home.  I had earned a badly needed day off, and I planned to kick back and watch a USC football game that Saturday.  Well Shirley, on the other hand, also felt that she had paid her dues.  For six weeks she had taken care of the kids and run the home.  It was entirely reasonable that I spend my Saturday doing things that she wanted done around the house.  Now, neither of us was really wrong.  Both of us had a right to feel as we did, but the two ideas were simply incompatible, and they collided about 10:00 Saturday morning when Shirley asked me to clean the backyard umbrella.  There was an exchange of harsh words that took us about three days to recover from.  Now, it's important to see that neither of us was looking for a fight, yet we both felt misunderstood and wounded by the other.

Our conflict was typical of what goes on every day in a million other homes.  It all comes down to differing assumptions.

With Focus on the Family, this is Dr. James Dobson.

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