Fighting and fixing


Fighting with our spouse is one thing. Fighting together for your family is a whole ‘nother approach. Both can be rooted in the same instincts.

Do you ever wonder if your spouse actually likes fighting? Don’t we all wonder if we spend too much time trying to fix what’s broken at home? The answer could be as simple as the three ways all humans respond to fear: freeze, flee, or fight.

If you happen to be married to a fighter, or if, like me, your natural response is to fight to fix problems, it can be exhausting “discussing” the minutia of every circumstance in the daily life of a family. People who naturally freeze or flee when fear surfaces may assume fighters enjoy conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. A fighter’s whole motivation is to fix whatever is broken and move on with healthy living.

When we live with a fighter, the challenge is to see past fighting and fixing long enough to process strategies for long-term solutions. For instance, as fighters, we may act impulsively before weighing the long-term consequences. This can cause havoc. Don’t I know!

One strategy for beating the heck out of fear is to Pause, Pray, Proceed judiciously.

The great thing about fighters is we tend to take action naturally. So, when paired up with other family members who pause or pray naturally, a fighter’s natural gift can create momentum for change. What a blessing in a family!

On the other hand, as natural fighters, we can easily see how important it is to surround ourselves with folks who will help us slow down. When everyone respects the natural gifts God has bestowed to overcome fear in the family, the whole team unifies and works together to beat the heck out of fear.

Sometimes, the best action a fighter can take, and the hardest, is to wait patiently while others take the time to process. Wise folks, even fighters, need to pause and pray, though.

With a simple adjustment in our thinking about fear, we can fight for our family together in all our strengths.

Each person we love instinctively responds to fear in their own special, God-given way. Interestingly, if we practice these principles at home, they start to make us more effective at work, too. We can instinctively begin to notice when fear is affecting our co-workers. We can gently coach friends and co-workers to Pause, Pray, Proceed.

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We all have ah-ha moments when it comes to fear. What have you learned along the way about living with a fighter or being one? What tricks work at your house?

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at


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