Most marriage experts often say : "Conflict is a good thing, it allows for communication and growth." Growth is really painful through confrontation to say the least. In my last post about Confrontation I focused on small things, but what do you do about the big things?
A fight with your wife about your Mother in Law coming to Christmas dinner is a small thing. Deciding to move to another state is a big thing. A fight about buying a new TV is a small thing. Deciding on a long term Budget is a big thing... And the list could go on. Dealing with the small problems in a marriage can be taxing but most of the time they correct themselves with just a little help from you both. But the big life changing decisions require a different set of tools.
TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Rules for the Big Things
- Don't Head Her Off at the Pass : When a topic that comes up makes you immediately uncomfortable the first instinct is to lash out with something that will make that conversation stop. Instead of saying the first thing that comes to mind, take a second and pause.
- Ask Why : This issue might make you uncomfortable, but get to root of it to ask why this particular action is important. Sometimes the issue is not the issue. You wife wants to down size so that you can pay down debt faster. This might make you angry because you like your lifestyle as it is... Ask her why, maybe her parents were bad with money and a lot of debt makes her nervous, or maybe she wants to start a family soon. Either way, why she is suggesting the action is way more important than the action itself.
- Use Logic AND Emotion : Any argument can usually be won by applying strict logic OR emotion. The key is to use both. Talk about the pros and cons, but also be open to the feelings about it.
- Don't Try to Solve It in 1 Night : Big decisions take time, so use it wisely. Don't obsess or set unrealistic time tables to come to a decision, really think about it, and really talk about it. That doesn't mean hide from it either.
- Have A Pause Button : Do not let every word to one another be about the issue. Remember to enjoy time together and pause when the discussion gets too heated or is just going in circles. You are two grown adults, you can sometimes ignore the elephant in the room to take in other sights.
- Come to a decision together, mean it, and act on it : Once you both decide what is best figure out what the next steps are and start doing them.