Fiancé and fiancée fracases: Aren't they a red flag?

What you need to know:

  • Conflicts are inevitable but how we sort them out will determine whether they are red flag or not.

John and Jane are now one year into their relationship as they prepare for marriage. There's one worry scenario though, these two lovers fight almost everyday.

Sometimes it is about in-laws; another time it's the car they're using; the other day, it was finances. The two are planning a wedding in a year’s time, however, even the wedding preparation is full of fights and fracases.

Jane's mother is getting seriously concerned. Perhaps her daughter is in a stale relationship.  Their fracases scare her to death.

For those who are married, do you remember your first petty quarrel with your spouse after getting married? What was the issue? Who won?

My friends who're preparing need to understand marriage is a team. You win together and lose together.

One of the best predictors of divorce is not whether a couple fight, but how they fight. All couples have probably fought dirty at least once, but the relationship will struggle when this way of relating becomes a norm.

Fiancé and Fiancées need to know that:

Conflict is inescapable for any relationship: In all genuine relationships, fights and arguments are inevitable, For the sake of my African audience, the fights we are talking about here are not physical fights. We just mean conflicts. However conflict is an opportunity for growth if well-handled.

When you intimately share your life with someone at the level of marriage, there will be disagreements, and sometimes a lot of them. The most important thing is not avoiding disagreements and arguments, but sort them out constructively and positively.

Constant conflicts are a red flag: As much as conflicts are not bad, constant yelling, silent treatment, withdrawal and rage is not healthy.

When these become a characteristic, we can confidently say they are some of the best indicators of an impending divorce.

They cause one of the spouses who has unmet needs use his or her way to push for a forced response. One can start being overly critical, giving barbed comments or distancing themselves all together.

Focus on the issue not the person: Don’t name-call or bring the other person down to get on top of an argument. The potential for causing serious hurt is enormous. 

It’s too easy to say things that can’t be taken back. Don't lose focus of the issue at hand. Avoid character assassination.

Don’t bring in irrelevant details just to prove your point. It’s so tempting to confirm your ‘rightness’ by highlighting the other person’s ‘wrongness’. Don’t.

It’s the quickest way to send an argument off track and land you in a place where you forget what you were fighting for. 

Watch your tone: Finally, don't yell unless the house is burning. When you yell, you'll be arguing about arguing.

Conflicts are inevitable but how we sort them out will determine whether they are red flag or not.

Matured couples should handle their arguments constructively. You don't need fracases!

Amani Kyala is a counsellor, writer and teacher, 0626 512 144