REAL Couples – REAL Issues – REAL solutions.
This blog is a part of a series inspired by real conversations between real couples. The words they have spoken to each other were inspired by following one of the guided conversations that come from one of the marriage preparation courses at www.OnlineMarriagePreparation.com.
STEP ONE: How do we define our issue?
Bride: We have no communication after an argument or fight. The trouble with us is that we tend to not resolve our disagreement after an argument, and it escalates into bigger problems. We need to take a few minutes away from each other to collect and calm our thoughts before re-engaging in the discussion.
Groom: We need to communicate more after an argument, conflict or fight. My wife will go into a silent treatment for days, even weeks, instead of communicating and resolving the issue, and it can drag on for days and weeks which puts a serious stress on our marriage.
STEP TWO: Why is this important to me/us?
Bride: Fighting and arguments put stress on a marriage or relationship. Life can be stressful enough and God tells us we need to forgive. Fighting can cause distance which can damage our relationship when we don’t communicate. It is best to resolve the problem as soon as possible. I think we should have more talk time during and after a fight. We need to discuss issues when they are small and before they get bigger and out of hand. I think it’s best to get a handle on it before it becomes a fight.
Groom: I really hate not communicating to resolve the problem(s). Due to my work schedule, I can be away from home 2 to 3 days at times. Fighting puts stress on me, and I am often thinking about the situation while I’m at work, but I can’t have my mind wandering and not concentrating which can endanger my crew and others. Our arguments also puts a strain on our relationship. I believe conflicts or problems should be discussed right away to find a solution. Allowing it to simmer and brew can escalate to a larger problem. I know that disagreements and arguments will happen. I’ve learned to take a little time off and never engage in talking about the issue when both sides are too sensitive with the issue. I need to not talk and do a better job of listening so that she can vent and release the tension.
Bride’s Feelings: hopeful, guilty, ignored, tense, weak, foolish, frustrated, annoyed, suborn, negative, overwhelmed
Groom’s Feelings: hopeful, sad, fed-up, guilty, uncomfortable, angry, depressed, hopeless, weak, confused, frustrated, lonely, annoyed, afraid, negative
STEP THREE: What will a better future look like for us?
Bride: Our relationship will be stronger. We will learn from the mistakes that we have made in the past, and hopefully, this will be another steppingstone added to my stairway to happiness. I want to be more open-minded and think of the situation from his point of view and not just my own. I need to try to be less stubborn about things. We need to make more time to talk about the problem. I need to take the communication more seriously. It might help for us to write down the problem and some solutions on a piece of paper, then both read our notes and think about it before we talk about it. I know I need to listen to your suggestions and solutions.
Groom: I will be happy that this issue has been resolved. I feel stupid that we have even gotten to this point. I love my wife a lot, and I hate to see her mad at me. It makes me feel alone. I need to think before I act, and listen before I talk. I need to lower my defensive barrier. I would hope that you would listen to my ideas, too, and respect what I have to say, and try to take 1 step back, instead of standing your ground. We both need to Talk, Talk and Talk! And make time to talk to each other. We don’t just need to hang out with each other, but to use the time to TALK! Not just about little things, but deep-hearted issues.
STEP FOUR: What are our best ideas?
Idea One: I like the group talk. Being in a group helps keep things simple. Everyone can input suggestions, ideas and solutions, preventing the discussion from escalating. Suggestion jar: Write down the problems we both are experiencing, so everything is out in the open and there is no confusion between us before bringing up an issue. We should just come straight out and say, “I have a problem and I would like you to listen to me without getting mad.”
Idea Two: Instead of first talking, write down the problem(s) on a piece of paper or txt each other the issue. Let each one of us think about it and then talk about it during dinner or when we have family time together.
STEP FIVE: What will I/we actually do?
Bride: I will put a jar on the table, with a 2 note pads(different colors) next to it, One for him and one for her. All notes should be answered by the start of the weekend.
Groom: I will take a 5 min break before engaging in the conversation. I will make sure I understood what the problem is before talking, because a misunderstood issue can lead to more problems.
Once a week we will sit down and read over the problems or issues we both have. That way we have time to think about the answer and make sure we both understood the problems.
STEP SIX: How will we know that we’re making progress?
We will see notes in the jar and will have communicated more with each other. Hopefully we will have less real arguments.