No marriage is without conflict, but it is how we handle those conflicts that will shape your marriage. Dr. Glenn Pickering and his wife Gwen have learned many hard lessons throughout their marriage. Perhaps the most important lesson they’ve learned is what they call The 50/50 rule. Glenn shares how he arrived at an understanding of The 50/50 rule.
“Early on in our marriage, we would have terrible arguments and she would get really loud and I would shut down altogether. Then there would be quiet between each other for days.”
As they continued to live in silence, Glenn would have one thought running through his head.
“I would walk around for those days thinking, “Golly, it’s too bad Gwen has such a problem with anger.’”
Eventually, God convicted Glenn of the truth about his situation and it drove him to his knees.
“He convicted me that we both had a problem with anger. I didn’t know any more about how to do it right than she did. That is the reason we’re going on silently for the two days after that – because I was so shut down. I wasn’t talking.”
Glenn’s anger was expressed in silence, whereas his wife’s anger was expressed differently. In the end they both were at fault and that is The 50/50 Rule. Each party in a conflict is 50% responsible for the conflict and for finding a solution to the conflict.
“We have to do this thing differently or we’re just going to keep getting the same outcome.”
Conflict can often end with only one side admitting any fault. This isn’t healthy, because it isn’t truth.
“If you’re in an argument or a conflict with a person in your life and the other person says it’s all your fault, it’s wrong to apologize and then move on because that’s acting like that’s true. We’re now moving forward under a false premise which never works. A real relationship has to be based on the truth, not on the lie.”
True reconciliation cannot occur unless both parties admit their part of the conflict. Thankfully, if we come to each other with humility and grace, God can use conflict to teach us how to love each other better.