“My Spouse and I Are Having a Disagreement and We Can’t Seem to Make Any Progress. What Do We Do?”

A Little Lesson

In today’s Little Lesson, David Servant answers a question from a viewer who is having a disagreement with her husband and is unable to make any progress. Discover a simple but powerful secret for resolving such disagreements within marriage.

Picture of married couple having a disagreement

The following excerpt is taken from a transcript of the video above.

Today’s question is actually much more specific than I let on in my introductory words there. This is somebody who is having a little bit of a problem in their marriage because of a disagreement over certain specific things. Let me read this communication so you can see what the disagreement’s about.

“Hello, David. I just came across your video on YouTube and finished watching it. The title was, ‘Is it wrong for a woman to wear makeup?‘” That’s a question I answered at one time. Okay. And now she tells me her situation.

“It has been an issue of mine for a long time between my husband and I. I want to please my hubby.” Well, there you go. That’s great. Kudos to you. “But it’s hard because I do like makeup. He doesn’t like makeup and always kindly says that I’m beautiful without it.” Well, way to go, hubby. You’re using some wisdom there, telling your wife that she’s beautiful without makeup and you’re trying to get her to stop wearing makeup. All right, but we have a disagreement here, a fundamental disagreement.

And may I just interject here, welcome to marriage, because when you put two people together, it’s impossible for you never to have a disagreement, right? And so you’re going to have to work out these things. And this is one way that God uses in our lives to help us to become more like Jesus because he wants us to grow in mercy and grace and love and forgiveness. And you got to have that to have a successful marriage, right? Right. Okay. So she says, “I appreciate what he says, telling me that I’m beautiful even without makeup, but why do I still have a desire to wear it? How can I practice confidence?” Not sure exactly what that means, but she’s blessed that her husband says she’s beautiful, but she still has a desire to wear it. How can I practice confidence? It kind of sounds like she gets more confidence outside the home when she’s wearing makeup.

I’m not sure I’m interpreting her words exactly right, but she knows that her husband thinks she’s beautiful without it. And so there’s no burden to wear makeup for her husband, but she still likes to wear it. And she’s questioning, “Why do I like to wear it?” So here’s a question you could ask. I’m not sure if this is going to help you that much, but your husband should be more important than anybody else other than Jesus. And I would say the same thing to the husband. Your wife should be more important than anyone else, and so you got to be listening very close and communicating that, “I want to please you more than anyone else.” And so that’s a motivation to say, “Even though I like to wear makeup and I feel more confident with it when I’m outside the home because of other people, what they might think, I’m going to please my husband. And so I’m going to please him.”

Now, if I was talking to the husband, and the wife wrote me, I’d be saying to him, “Hey, your wife likes to wear makeup and she doesn’t feel confident without it, even she’s blessed that you feel that she’s beautiful without it. But when she goes out of the home, she doesn’t feel confident. And so maybe you could adjust a little bit and walk in love towards your wife, loving her like Christ loves the church,” you see?

And so it’s all about compromise. And that could be something that the husband, and wife in this case could talk about and say, “Okay, well let’s find some middle ground where we can both be a little bit happier over this issue that we’re not in agreement about it.” And I’m only talking about this because it has application to any disagreement that we’d have in our marriage, okay?

And she mentions another one I think is kind of cute. “Also, I have mentioned to my hubby how I like it when he dresses nice to church. And even I’ve showed him some examples and he doesn’t agree with me. He feels like I’m controlling him with the way he dresses. How is it fine for him to tell me, ‘It’s better if you don’t wear makeup,’ or ‘You shouldn’t wear that,’ and then him not wanting to please me? I am confused.” Well, she’s being nice about that. And that was the end of her communication.

She’s actually kind of feeling like, “Yeah you’ve got a standard. You’re expecting for me to do something for you but I can’t expect you to do anything for me.” So here we go. Welcome to marriage. When these conflicts come up and so you have to talk about it. And so maybe that could be incorporated into the compromise. “All right hubby, I’ll wear less makeup if you’ll get a little more dressed up. Like I want you to get dressed up for church.”

These are not life-altering things here that we’re talking about. And most things that Christian husbands and wives or non-Christian husbands and wives disagree on are usually not life-changing, earth-shattering things. And the only reason I bring this up because it almost seems to be somewhat on the trivial, but to this dear sister in Christ who wrote, it’s not trivial to her, so she’s asking for some advice, and so I thought I’d give it, but hopefully with a larger application.

Usually in marriages, there’s one person that gives in more than the other person. Guess what? That person is more like Christ than the other person. In my marriage, it’s my wife. I can tell you that right now. I’ve got room for improvement there. But the thing is, I’ve often found that it’s kind of like judo. In judo, when you go to hit somebody, they just use the force of your punch against you and they just keep pulling you right through. And so, it’s not reactionary so much as it is I’m just going to let you follow through all the way on what you’re trying to do, but I’m going to get out of the way.

When we love people and we have disagreements with them, when they see that we give in, then that immediately softens them, whether they admit it or not, and they may not admit it, but it affects them on the inside. “Oh my goodness. You just gave in, you were the Christian, and so how does that make me look? It makes me look like the big bad bully.” And so probably there’s going to be adjustment and, in fact, that adjustment doesn’t happen immediately over time, in a true Christian’s life. And you could also gently point that out. “Well, I did this for you, my dearest, beloved husband. And so now I’m just asking for you to imitate what I did for you by giving in a little bit for me.” You see, if it’s not in angry tones and you throw the love in there to whatever level you possibly can, the power of persuasion. You’ve got them if it’s done with gentleness and love.

Okay. Well thanks for asking that question. I appreciate it very much and feel a little bit like Dear Abby here today. Hope to see you next time. God bless you.