The Problem- Some people in their confusion, perceive the problem in a very cloudy way. Sometimes they may combine different problems together, or confuse their own problems with those of others. In such situations, solutions are often impossible to find, as we have no clear description of the problem. Here are some ways to aid in defining the problem.
1. What exactly is it that you want here?
2. Describe exactly how you would like your reality to be concerning this subject (issue)?
3. How are you reacting to it? Are you upset about what is happening or more so about how you are reacting to it? or both?
(This is to determine if our problem is the events which are causing the emotions or perhaps the emotions themselves or the bodily reactions to those emotions.)
I find this so helpful when I experience a conflict or an issue. Stopping to ask myself what is actually happening and what is it I want to have happen.
ex: Spouse is angry that supper is late because his blood sugar is dropping. He is short tempered and yells at his wife. She hears the yell, sees he is upset. She must ask herself if she becomes emotional about this, what actually is she getting emotional about.
a. he yelled (his tone)
b. her feeling of failure -she let him down
c. her own anger that he doesn't come and assist her
When we are faced with a conflict or an issue, it is so important to stay calm and respond. Do not react to issues. Respond by thinking first. Stop, drop and roll method for getting out of a smoked filled room applies here. Stop reacting, drop your emotions, roll with responses.
The key to overcoming conflict it to determine what is stimulating our emotions. Stimuli can either be external or internal.
Does this help? Can you identify your feelings and emotions easily. Being able to identify what you are feeling or experiencing will be instrumental in responding in a time of conflict. I have attached a list of feelings. Look over the list and choose the words that best describe your feelings when facing a conflict. This one step will set you up closer for success in your communication during conflict and issues.
Not everyone is comfortable developing emotional intimacy – but if you don’t – your relationships will remain hollow and often difficult to maintain. Below are a few tips for connecting that we hope will assist you in your life’s journey.
In close physical proximity; without invading their space, talk to the one you care about at the heart level without worrying about how uncomfortable you may feel. Remember this moment is not about you, it is about them and how they feel.
Make statements such as:
I want you to feel how much I appreciate you
I’m so privileged to have you in my life, business, family, etc.
I am so pleased with your level of understanding
I love your unselfish ways
You are valuable to me and to others
I want you to feel loved by me
I’m so glad God made you the way He did
I can learn so much from you
If you make the effort to sit down with them knee to knee, eye-to-eye, you can bring a sense of calm to the other person. When the time is right you can ask them the following types of questions and accept their answers.
Do you feel loved by me? If not, what can I do to help you feel more loved?
Do you feel as though I understand what goes on inside of you? If not, what can I do to help you feel more understood?
Do you feel as though I cherish and validate you as a person?
Do you feel like I put my job or other people before you?
Honor them. Take some time to just relax and enjoy that person on an individual basis. Avoid talk about rules, expectations, or controversial subjects – just be in the same room together.
Making statements such as:
I believe you are something special.
God used you in my life when you did ______ or when you said_____.
I’ve been noticing these positive character traits in you. Keep up the good work.
I saw that you did ____without my saying anything, I really appreciated that.
Ask the person about one thing they want you to change. These moments gives them hope and builds their trust in you.
not saying “please forgive me”
being too harsh
Everyone feels nurtured when they are touched in a gentle appropriate way – without expectation.
Give them a blessing in the morning and at night.
Start and end their day by speaking words that affirm their lives.
Bless your children with prayer before bedtime and again in the morning before they start their day. (If applicable)
Help them to resolve issues with other people.
Encourage them not to let the sun go down on their wrath, hurts, or misunderstandings.
Show them how to look at others eye to eye so they can do it in their own lives.
NOTE: Try to do this at least a few minutes every day, for each person you care about. If you can make it 30 minutes a week minimum, you will see your relationships change in the way you have always wanted. This does not happen without effort or a bit of awkwardness.
Those feelings of hurt or being slighted when your spouse didn't come home right away or failed to do what was usually expected can be difficult to deal with. Often not telling them directly what you would like can increase the anxiety and cause worry in your soul.
What about when you said something to your partner and they completely got the wrong interpretation of what you meant?
It is my view that spouses know their partner well enough and should have the ability to talk things out. For, we all want harmony and good will at home. So what can you do to prevent this misunderstanding from happening? The first step as in all conflict is to control your thoughts. Worry is not fact. We can make up all kinds of problems that most of the time will never happen. With texting and cell phones, we seldom can’t reach our partner. Allowing a few minutes to respond is only good and demonstrates healthy behaviors. Harness your thoughts and act accordingly with a calming behaviors.
Be mindful of old sensitivies from past experiences. The partner whose first husband cheated on them often will admit to needing reassurance when schedules change. Owning our insecurities with our partner and how we developed them will only promote more emotional intimacy between you and your partner. Asking for understanding and receiving it will often lead to a healing of these earlier upsets.
If you do “lose it” with your loved one, breath and give up any defensiveness and say you are sorry. Using magic words like "I am sorry" and "Let's not fight" or "I love you" help to ease feelings. It is possible that many have not heard those words growing up and this is a new experience. It will get easier with practice.
Life has enough challenges without our turning misunderstandings into full blown drama experiences. Pour faith, grace and love over your thoughts and give them to your spouse.
It did not phase me so much the first time I heard a client answer, " I don't know what I want." I chalked it up to someone not in touch with who they were. Now, it is almost common to hear this phrase. Hearing "I don't know what I want from a marriage" causes my coaching radar to beep. These couples have put the marriages and relationships on auto pilot. A marriage on auto pilot requires no attention, no accountability, no worry, and therefore no thought for the future. A marriage on auto pilot means someone else will pick up the pieces or "we will just think about it another day."
Let's look at a few examples of what auto pilot looks like a marriage:
Differing situations of lack of attention
Playing video games, texting, reading the paper or book, listening with earphones to iPod. All these forms of entertainment are not meant to neglect or create lack of attention. They are ways to entertain us or help us chill out. But many who want to talk, be listened to or spend time with their spouse may will find these all a hindrance to full attention and quality time.
Did you know you have three options?
1. turn the devise off or put down the book
2. ask if your partner to give you x number of minutes to finish (and then follow through)
3. ignore your partner and send the message that you do not care.
The best option is to take control of your relationship by not allowing technology to suck you in.
Sweeping it under the rug syndrome
If you experience this syndrome don't fret. Maybe you or your partner are just not good at expressing your feelings. If you are unable to air your pent up feelings you could be sweeping them under the rug. Soon there will be a lump under that rug. That lump will likely cause you to trip over it as you react to that same old issue. This lashing out (reaction) is from stuffing your feelings and thoughts.
See if this is a doable remedy.
Take notes in your phone or tablet of what happened and how it made you feel. Be sure to think of a way you would like it handled next time. This little exercise will allow you to vent and will give you the words to say whenyou have the ability to talk it out with your partner. Venting is a way to release the pressure. Writing is a safe way to express your feelings in safety. But complete the steps by deciding what or how you would like the issue to be solved and then ask to explain this to your spouse. You will find that these small changes can help in big ways.
Having a don't care attitude
This kind of attitude is dangerous for your marriage. A marriage partnership is all about the caring and loving of one another. It is about having your partner's back, them supporting you as well. A great way to bring concern and caring back in your relationship is to imagine not having your partner, home, job, or family when you woke up the next day. We usually take for granted our partners and this can easily turn into not caring.
Living with head in the clouds
Are you a dreamer? Do you dream of the future and forget to live in the present. Do you wish that one day you would be happy. Maybe you secretly wish your partner would change so your life would be happier. Real life means excepting the decisions you have made and making the best by being the best you. Live in the now. Live each day as it was your last and love your partner warts and all.
Not knowing what we want is the catalyst to a failing marriage. Turn off autopilot and manage your marriage. Take control again. Wake up and open your eyes; notice little things; start eye contact; smile more; tell jokes; do extra curricula activities; show appreciation.
Debbie Kessler loves her husband, Wally Kessler. She is a southern girl who loves Jesus and loves building up people to do Good Works of Love.