This chapter is titled ‘Easy Conflict Resolution’ and can boiled down to exactly two simple statements.
- Don’t argue – discuss rationally instead.
- Wives must give up their fleshly needs and desires.
That first message is actually a good one. Lori goes into detail about how to use good communication skills to keep from knocking heads on the issues you don’t agree with your spouse on. Then she leavens that message with toxic nuggets of ‘shut up and smile!’
‘When women ask my opinion about what they should do regarding arguing, my advice is “Don’t”
She says that too many pastors and leaders do not teach ‘Don’t argue’, preferring to teach communication skills instead. Her advice instead of working on those communication efforts is this:
by biting your tongue as I learned to do.
Tell us again how well this has worked out for her? Her words in her blog and many times in this book are seething with frustration, disdain and repressed anger. That’s the thing that so unhealthy about so much of the advice in the Quiverfull world, like sheltering children or insisting on no masturbation – if you repress normal human emotions and development it will come out somewhere else, usually somewhere unhealthy, squishy and weird. Example? Josh Duggar.
I used to relish a good fight.
She still does. Anyone who has strolled through the myriad of comments on the review page at Amazon for this book and her nasty responses to those that disagree with her on her blog and you can see just how much she likes to fight. At least before she took down all of her negative responses. This is a woman that lives to put down others to build her own fragile inner self up and to try and force others to behave by her own personal rules. All she’s done is shift her control issues and personal authority usurping from Ken to every woman in her sphere of influence and beyond.
The chapter goes on to discuss her promising her husband Ken that she would never argue with him again. Followed by admissions of the failure of that promise and her renewed promises and doubled efforts. Lori admits she sometimes still argues.
Arguing is ugly and never accomplishes anything. I had to learn to discuss things with Ken without veering into a heated dispute or spewing out cross words.
But that goes back to learning to have mature communications in non-threatening manner and really should be a learned skill before you get married. Another important piece of not arguing in marriage is this axiom she never touches upon: Pick your battles carefully. I have seen many times, and suspect from the way both Lori and Ken describe their fights, people who will argue over the most minor of things. You’ll just make yourself and your spouse miserable if the arguments you do engage in are over trifling things.
My husband wanting to eat at Burger King when I really wanted to stay home and eat a salad? Not worth wasting any disagreement on, go get that burger and I’ll stay home with my salad, go, Godspeed and enjoy.
But if he were to announce that he wanted to jet off to the Himalayas and climb Mount Everest, plunging us into debt and putting his life in danger in his retirement years? Important enough to argue over, but I would still start with the friendly rational discussion first and only morph into an arguing if he failed to admit it was not a rational idea. Choose how serious the issue has to be before you engage in disagreement. Makes life much easier.
While ignoring good communication and picking your battles Lori goes on to claim that if there is lack of agreement that the man is automatically the one that gets to cast the deciding vote, no matter what the issue is or how it impacts the family.
Don’t count on ‘conflict resolution’ techniques to be your savior. Instead, be submissive to your husband and live in peace.
This is followed by a long, long, pages long, response to a commenter on Lori’s old defunct blog by Ken that just spends eight long pages putting down conflict resolution tools. Not even going to respond to any of it here.
Don’t listen to Lori or Ken about conflict resolution in this chapter. The true bits are few and both of them skip things that are proven to work by experts in marriage.
- Pick your battles.
- Learn to communicate in a non-threatening manner.
- Learn not to take offense or hold grudges.
- Learn to treat each other kindly during those times when there is disagreement.
- Learn how to reach that middle ground that works for both partners.
None of these things are always easy, but I guarantee you’ll have a less miserable marriage with these few quick rules than by anything in this toxic book. Don’t think because I’ve been married 30 plus years that I don’t have to do this any longer myself. I do, I have to practice these things daily myself, particularly at times like now when I’m trying to book our annual winter beach vacation and make accommodations for everything both of us require. Marriage involves compromise so you can include the person you love in just about every aspect of your life.
Next week’s chapter involves Lori’s ideas on sex and can be summed up thusly: Men are horndogs and you must have sex with them whenever requested, even if it’s six times a day. Ugh.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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