Healthy Conflict in Marriage

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading


If you’re married, you know a lot about your spouse. The question is: do you really understand them?

I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of interesting people. One person I wish I could have known is the late Ronald Reagan. Oddly enough, because I’ve learned so much about him, there have been times when I felt as if I did know him. But what I’ve realized is that, although I know a lot of facts about President Reagan, I’ll never truly know him on a deep level as a person.

If I’m not careful, the same principle could apply to my relationship with my wife, Jean. A fact I know about her, for example, is that her brother passed away years ago. But do I understand at a deep level the impact his death has had in her life? Do I understand how it affects her even today? If a moment reminds her of him and tears come, am I compassionate with her even though it’s been such a long time?

You see, many couples experience conflict because they treat the events of their spouse’s life as facts about them. But they don’t truly understand how those moments have shaped their life and impact their behavior even today. Our spouse needs us to do more than just acknowledge their pain from a distance. They need us to be like the Lord, compassionate and present with them in the midst of the emotional challenges that linger from their past.

For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at