A Band-Aid For A Marriage In Crisis

By

A Band-Aid For A Marriage In Crisis
If your marriage is headed for trouble, read this article and find ways to diffuse tension

Second, avoid getting stuck in a crossfire of disagreements. Concentrate on one issue at a time and evaluate the pros or cons of your spouse’s preference calmly and fairly. Identify one issue that you disagree about, a point of tension that commonly leads to fights. Be specific and avoid being vague and generalizing, as “We can never agree on anything!” For instance, a wife who was a stay-at-home mom for years desires to go back to work, while her husband disagrees with this decision. They have opposite, mutually exclusive goals about handling this situation. They are convinced of their own point of view and prepared to give multiple arguments to justify their preference and dismiss the ones of their mate. What is likely to happen if they begin talking about the issue with no restraint or agreed-upon rules? A crossfire of arguments and an increase in anger likely will result.

Instead, they may agree to discuss this issue on two separate occasions, taking place on different days, picking a time when both are feeling relaxed. They agree to follow the rules: On a first meeting, they only give and discuss the reasons why going to work is a good decision, while on the second meeting, they only express and review the reasons against it. Both times, the spouses record their opinions to create “pro” and “con” lists. Each discussion ends in thirty minutes, after both partners have expressed themselves, by thanking each other, then moving on to doing other things.

These two talks take place one or two days apart from each other and spouses refrain from continuing to talk further about the issue. Next time, this topic is discussed with the counselor. Even though the issue may not be resolved, spouses may be comforted to have their partner on their side, supportive and willing to listen.

Many disagreements stem from our frustrated need for respect and appreciation. Just listening without interrupting, refraining from being contradictory and judgmental, while staying calm and patient are very important steps for partners in learning to get along better. Even though there is no quick way to solve marital issues, these steps can be implemented quickly to soothe the tension and begin healing.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

The Crazy Reasons People Say Yes To Sex Are Shocking

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Eve Eschner Hogan. Why people have sex doesn't seem like it should be a mystery, but a study at the University of Texas asked that very question. We might assume that "it feels good," "I wanted to show my love" or "I wanted to get pregnant" were among the top contenders ... Read more

8 Pieces Of Common Advice That Will Derail Your Relationship

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. When you're tying the knot, friends and family may share a few nuggets of advice for living happily ever after. If later you're going through a difficult time in your marriage, they may again be quick to share their input. You might even seek their guidance, hoping a ... Read more

The Secret To Great Relationships Of Any Kind

By

This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Chantal M. Gagnon, PhD, LMHC. Gerry Spence, the famous attorney who has an amazing record for winning in court, says that people have "truth tentacles." That's how he became so successful — by telling juries the truth. I agree; I think people can tell when they're being lied to. ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB