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Family Fire

The photo at the left shows how deep and wide an atomic bomb can impact its surroundings. The online article taken from Planet Deadly ( reports, "The “Baker” explosion above was part of Operation Crossroads and was the first underwater nuclear weapons test. Considering this photo was taken back in 1946 the quality is exceptional. You can clearly see the massive amount of water forced upward and the fleet of ships anchored around the site. There were 95 ships used to test the effects of this 23 kiloton explosion. Ships as far away as 760 meters (1/2 mile) were sunk and some 2.3km (1.5 miles) away were seriously damaged." Conclusion: one explosion can cause a lot of damage.

Now, consider the way you and your spouse fight. Are you dropping bombs on each other, unrelenting in your pursuit to prove yourself right? Do you put each other down, yell at each other, curse, and go on rantings because it's the only way to get them to listen to you? Well, I've got news for you...they're not listening. But your kids are.

When I have couples' in counseling, sometimes the sessions can get pretty heated. I feel more like a referee than a therapist. I should put on my stripped shirt, blow a whistle, throw a red flag in the air and call out, "15 yard penalty! Unnecessary roughness!" I wish at times they could see what they are doing to themselves and anyone around them. The negative energy in the room is similar to that of an atomic bomb blowing out in all directions. There is no benefit, no resolution, and no compromise in these exchanges: There is only pain. The adults can explode and go away and kiss and make-up later. But what about the damage to the children? Who "kisses" their hurts? They are not even "seen" during these volatile exchanges where doors are slammed, plates are thrown, and people are physically hurt. Telling a child to "go to your room" does not stop their awareness of your fighting. They are traumatized and some are scarred for life. Often, they grow up and repeat the abusive communication style and do damage to the next generation.

The Bible warns us;

"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,

and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45

The heart deceives us. Our emotions are not always right. We sometimes become defensive when there is no need, and sometimes, the defensiveness is in response to an unknown danger. Fear leads to distrust. Trust that is broken results in these types of exchanges, with no resolution that leads to more fighting. To fight with someone in an effort to gain their understanding just doesn't work.Where there is only war and carnage; peace can not exist.

Someone told me recently of a poem he heard,

"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times." Author unknown

This goes for both men and women. If you are fighting with someone, chances are you are coming from a weak position. Two people fighting for the sake of fighting (not looking to find a solution) are both creating hard times for themselves and their family. Stop fighting. Look for solutions. Remove your emotions from the situation, stop blaming each other and pointing out the other's "faults."

I give a visual in therapy for couples who can not see what they do to each other:

Imagine you are sitting in a fox hole with your partner and the problem is down field

(not in the fox hole). When you fight with each other,

the problem never gets addressed because you blow each other up in the fox hole.

Aim at the problem together.

You are on the same team. You both want what's best for the situation.

Keep your eye on the solve the problem,

not destroy your partner.

When you begin to work as a team and problem solve together, the fighting will cease and peace can return to your home. You are teaching your children to be problem solvers, not war time soldiers. Seek peace in all situations, and love will abound.

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