What I Learned About Myself by Doing an ‘Argument Autopsy’


Recently, I was Sheila Gregoire’s guest at her blog, To Love Honor and Vacuum, where I shared about an argument I had with my husband years ago that resulted in several important and helpful insights about myself. Though I don’t exactly enjoy having to learn lessons the hard way, that’s often the best and most memorable way that I learn. How about you?

ArgumentAnother great blessing occurred due to this argument; another counselor, Lesli Doares came across my article at Sheila’s place and asked if she could interview me about my experience on her radio show. And I gladly agreed!

It was great to talk with Lesli because we have so much in common as fellow-counselors, but also as wives who are committed to our marriages even when our marriages take us into the fray of an argument. 😉

Click here to go to Lesli’s interview with me. And click here, if you’d like to read my article over at Sheila’s place.

Also, click here if you’d like to use the prayer journaling tool that I use to do an “argument autopsy” on conflicts in my marriage. It really has been a game-changer for both my husband and me—aiding us in our ability to talk through any conflict with greater insight and humility. I hope you’ll give it a try!

[bctt tweet=”Try my ‘Argument Autopsy’ and prayer tool for gleaning important insights! #conflict” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

[bctt tweet=”Turn your fights in marriage into fighting for your marriage! #findouthow” username=”BethSteffaniak”]


What are some insights you’ve been able to glean from arguments you’ve had with your spouse?


What do you do to glean these insights?


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayMoments of HopeLiterary Musing MondaysJennifer Dukes LeeBreak Through Homeschooling LinkupCoffee for Your HeartSitting Among FriendsFaith and FriendsFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday


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15 responses to “What I Learned About Myself by Doing an ‘Argument Autopsy’”

  1. I love Sheila’s blog and I’m looking forward to reading your post there. One insight I gleaned was realizing how upset I’d become when my husband misunderstood me–especially when my intentions were good. And so I would try to prove myself to him in an argument. Now I feel like God has given me the strength to find the assurance that God knows my heart. Then I can empathize with my husband’s perspective without becoming easily offended.


    1. Thank you, Valerie! I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. And I love your insight as well! We truly don’t need to worry about convincing our mates of our intentions or purposes when we have a God who works out everything for our good. Thanks for sharing your wise words here, my friend!


  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth, and a very important subject.

    I’ve learned lot from the postmortem analysis of arguments…and one of the most important things is that what the fight’s about is rarely what the fight’s about, if that makes sense.

    usually there’s an underlying issue that’s been simmering for a while, and it just needs a catalyst – usually a very minor one – to bring it to full flame.

    The best way to stop an argument is before it starts, by being able to face up to the darkness one cultivates in one’s on heart.


    1. Thank you, Andrew. It truly is important since it’s what has brought so much damage to my marriage when I don’t do the autopsy, and healing when I do. And I agree with you. It’s almost never about what we are fighting about. It’s about our insecurities and unmet needs. I know I can’t see that very clearly in the moment and the more anger is present, the murkier it becomes. And I so appreciate your parting thoughts because that’s so true! The best way to stop a fight truly is with humbleness!


  3. What an interesting way to put it, to do an ‘autopsy’ on our interactions that turned out to be less than stellar.

    I spent yesterday morning doing that, sitting with God, reading His Word, pouring out my heart, doing a bit of self-analysis, worshiping Him with tears.

    It didn’t have anything to do with marriage. But the autopsy was oh-so-good for my soul, and hopefully for my behavioral responses in challenging situations in the future.

    Thanks, Beth, for this extremely helpful concept. You’re a wise one, you are …


    1. Yes, the ugly conflict is like a “dead body” that really needs dissection–not just from me, but from the Lord. That’s why prayer is such a key component for me, Linda. And I’m not surprised to hear that you are doing this–not just with conflicts you’ve had with Tim but also with your own internal conflicts. It’s a beautiful time of grieving and releasing to the Lord. I agree. Those are some of the best times at our Lord’s feet–bearing our soul so that He can heal and mend. Thank you for your kind words. You always bless me, my friend!


  4. It took me quite a few years to figure out that my arguments needed post-mortum assessment ;). When I finally did, I realized that we often argued about the same things, our worst arguments happened when we sprang things on the other person (and especially if we did the springing in our bedroom), and that constructive criticism looks a lot different than criticism.


    1. Agreed, Anita! We need to find ways of turning our destructive criticisms into constructive and encouraging insights. But I must be the one to start. I can’t just wait around on my hubby to “get with the program.” That’s the hardest part for most spouses. They want the other one to lead the way, at least lead the way most of the time. But we can never leave this up to our mates to pursue. It is where Christ calls us–into His humility, servantheartedness and love. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend!


  5. Great post chocked full of truth to learn from and live by! Thanks, Beth! You are a boon to marriages. After retiring as an MFT, I still love reading great information like this! All so true!!


    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Pam! Yes, I love gleaning the wisdom from other bloggers, in particular, marriage bloggers as well. What did we do without all of this information at our fingertips when we were first married? I guess that explains the “messy” in my title! ha! Thanks for stopping by, my friend!


  6. I like this concept… argument autopsy… I’m sure it would be messy … just like a real one, but probably necessary to get to the real issues. I’m going to think on this some more. thanks!


  7. Analyzing arguments is a good for any relationship! Great advice!


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