Parenting Disagreements: Turn Down and Turn Up the Heat

couple disagreement Dollarphotoclub_65255912

You’re going to disagree at times in your marriage as parents. It’s inevitable. Even without children, disagreements are inevitable.

“Living as closely to another person as we do in marriage, we can’t help but rub each other the wrong way. We each have prickly egos. They clash against each other until gradually, bit by bit, they are worn smooth. (Ellyn Sanna with J. Lee Steward, from the book, “Romance in Real Life”)

Handling Disagreements

Hopefully our egos “are worn smooth” so we handle conflict in healthier ways. At least that should be our goal. It’s the “iron sharpening iron” concept the Bible talks about.

So, you will disagree in marriage —it’s a given! But add children into the mix, and the equation multiplies. I heard it said:

“Consider the math of marriage. One sinner plus another sinner equals two sinners. Double trouble under one roof. Add a couple “sinnerlings,” and we’re talking quadruple trouble under that same single roof. (From the book, Fit to be Tied, by Bill and Lynne Hybels.)

True, huh?

We need to realize that the “math” of the whole marriage relationship, when children are added, “turns up the heat.” It makes the perfect environment —the perfect storm, which all comes together to cause disagreements. And those disagreements can get ugly at times.

Here’s some advice from Ellyn Sanna and J. Lee Steward give, which might help you.

They wrote:

“Although marital conflict is normal and even healthy, it also can be hurtful and destructive.

“When we give in to our anger, most of us tend to wield it like a weapon against our husbands. We go for the throat, trying to do as much damage as we can. When we do, our conflicts are not constructive, but just the opposite.

“Anger is a little like a spade, those sharp digging devices. A spade can be used as a deadly weapon. But it can also be used to turn the earth for a new garden. Inevitably, we will be at odds with our [spouse] from time to time. But we do not need to attack them with our anger. Instead, used properly, anger can be the tool that opens the soil of our marriage so fresh life can grow.”

If you find you need more “tools” to help you “turn down the heat”, we have a lot of “Communication Tools” provided in that topic on this web site.

Also, Deb Walters, of and Lisa Graf, of Mom Blog wrote a couple of articles on this topic (and more beside, which I encourage you to check out).

To do so, please click into the following web site links (and then come back and share with us something you learned. That way we all can benefit from your lesson learned):



The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).

He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise” (Proverbs 11:29).

Cindy Wright, of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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Filed under: Childrens Effect on Marriage

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3 responses to “Parenting Disagreements: Turn Down and Turn Up the Heat

  1. (UNITED STATES)  Thank you so much for sharing links to the posts I’ve co-written. What a great collection of resources for marriages going through the parenting journey. Even though it’s extremely challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding aspects of marriage relationship!

  2. (AFRICA) Good day, I’m in desperate need of help. I didn’t know under which topic to post this. But I truly hope someone will see it and help me. I’ve being married just over a year and life has become difficult. My husband has been extremely moody since we got married. I have a daughter outside marriage and so does he. My daughter resided with my parents and she visits once in a while.

    The problem is when ever she comes my husband gets angry. Then he says awful things about her, thus her visits are always short, like just one night, two maximum. So because my mom will be away and schools are closed and I’m on maternity leave I fetched her from home. The first night she arrived I ran water for her so she could bathe then after I went to take her out of the bath, helped her put lotion on her body and helped her dress (She is 4yrs) old.

    Next thing hubby started screaming that she controls me, I’ve spoiled her and stuff. it became a huge fight and I lost my temper. I started throwing things around, attacked him etc. My daughter was crying. I packed and asked him to take us to my parents. He refused. I called his sister who told him to take us home and he did. On the way he was busy telling my daughter that I’m not your father. Your father is who, and where is he? She just cried the whole time. I have a 1 month old daughter with him. A month after she was born she became sick. I spoke to him and we decided that I would go to my mom’s place for a week because he goes to work in the morning, I stay alone with the baby and I was still in pain from the delivery so staying with a sick baby alone all day was too risky. When we fought he started swearing at me saying I took his newborn baby to my parents etc.

    I once made an awful mistake of terminating a pregnancy when I was younger. I fell pregnant with a married man’s baby. I told hubby about it and when we argued he called me a murderer and called people and told them about my past. I was wrong to terminate. I was young, afraid and I didn’t know God then, didn’t even know that what I was doing was wrong.

    It’s not the first time he has been nasty to my daughter and it hurts me a lot cause she is a part of me. I’ve never ever been nasty to his child. I feel he is verbally and emotionally being abusive to my girl. So I don’t know if staying in the marriage is worth it? Should I sacrifice my daughter for my marriage? How do I deal with this? Should I go to a marriage counsellor? A therapist or what should I do? How do I make him love her?

    1. Dear MM, Sadly, you cannot “make” your husband love your daughter. He doesn’t even appear to have much love in his heart to be able to give her, anyway. How he could hurt an innocent child –being verbally and emotionally abusive to her and screaming at and slandering you –his wife and the mother of his children? I don’t know! Something is lacking in his heart. I don’t know if he has been hurt in his past or if he’s narcissistic or what is going on, but HE is acting like the one who is “spoiled.” Something has spoiled his heart and what is spilling out of him is toxic.

      I can’t tell you what to do about your marriage. I don’t know if you have a marriage counselor or therapist near you who could help. But it sure doesn’t seem that it would hurt. Somehow, you need to make it safe for you to be around your daughter. Even if you only visit her at your mom’s for periods of time. If your husband does’t like it, then he needs to make your home more of a loving one so your daughter can be with you there. I’m also concerned for your other children –your one month old and the one you are carrying inside. It does not seem that their father is making it safe for them or for you.

      The Bible tells us that even name-calling is a form of murdering someone (Matthew 5:21-22). Your sin, while it was a sin (even though you didn’t know it was wrong) is not worse than him name-calling and his hurting a child emotionally (see: Matthew 18:1-7). People separate sin as one being worse than another… God doesn’t. Sin is sin. Jesus was recorded in the Bible as saying, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” God VERY MUCH loves your children… and so should your husband. If he doesn’t speak nicely to them (or to you), then he is violating Ephesians 4:29-5:1 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

      I don’t know if your husband is a Christ-follower or not, but if he is, these scriptures point out that what he is doing is wrong. And even if he isn’t a Christ-follower, his behavior towards children, even if they aren’t directly his, is NOT a good example for children to be exposed to. His behavior is that of a spoiled man –one who needs to settle down or he will lose his family. You need to do a lot of praying, asking God for wisdom on this, as to how to protect your children so they will not learn his ways or be hurt by them. Perhaps a therapist can guide you on this. I hope so. And I hope for you and your family, that God brings peace into your home. I pray for God to give you wisdom and hope and help. “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)