Check out podcast episode 101 “5 questions to ask yourself before raising an issue with your spouse”
It is so easy to react swiftly and emotionally to a conflict with your spouse and we often say things we regret or wish we could take back in the heat of the moment. “How” we react to things and what we say can often escalate the situation even more and turn something small into something HUGE in a matter of a minute.
Sometimes the things we argue about are so ridiculous we would have been better off not even saying entering. In this article, we will cover 5 questions you can ask yourself before creating (or responding) to an issue.
Question 1 to ask yourself:
What is the goal (end result) I want to accomplish before I respond?
Are you wanting to have a peaceful conversation? Are you wanting to punish your spouse? Are you retaliating? Hopefully your answer isn’t to cause hurt or harm to your spouse or relationship, but you need to ask yourself the question, what is the goal I want to accomplish, and this will help you know how to respond.
How we start the conversation is how it is going to end. If we start the conversation blaming, yelling or getting mad at our spouse, that is how the conversation is going to end and be left.
Give yourself time to think and ponder before you respond to your spouse. Let them know you want to think about it first if needed so you don’t seem uninterested or disrespectful.
Question 2 to ask yourself:
Is the end result just about me or is it about us?
Often times when we argue with our spouse, our ego won’t let us admit we are wrong and the goal is to prove we are right. When we can ask ourselves what the end result is really about and what the goal is, it makes it easier to respond in the correct manner.
Question 3 to ask yourself:
Will this pull our marriage towards one-ness or move us toward isolation (divide us)?
How you respond can either bring you closer together as a couple… or divide a wedge between you and separate you. There are so many marriages that end up in divorce and it often starts with just a little disagreement that can slowly divide you as a couple over time.
Question 4 to ask yourself:
Knowing I have made mistakes, how do I extend forgiveness to my spouse and not make them my enemy?
If we can have the mindset that we should work together as one, as a couple against whatever the problem or issue is rather than make it a “me against you” issue, it will help us resolve the issue together rather than pointing the finger at each other.
Also, recognize you have made mistakes and your spouse has forgiven you, so why can’t you extend the same forgiveness to them?
Question 5 to ask yourself:
Is it really necessary to bring up? If so can I approach it in a different way that won’t cause conflict?
Often we just fire off a quick response and reaction to later regret it. If we can take some time (whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours) we can often come to the conclusion that it’s not even worth brining up.
The other day we were playing pickellball together against another couple and the other couple hit 2-3 shots right down the middle. We both looked at each other and said “that was yours.” We could both tell each of his was frustrated and it could have turned into a heated argument. Instead, I just said “my fault, they were mine” and moved on. It was not worth having an argument over and dividing us and was just easier not to even bring it up again. This was an example of “will it divide us or bring us closer together” and the outcome would’ve been clear.
If you decide to bring something up, think about other ways you can approach it or discuss it so it doesn’t cause any contention with the goal being to bring you closer together. Play it out in your mind first to determine if it is even worth brining up or discussing.
We ALWAYS teach that communication is key and almost every issue can be resolved with good communication. We are in NO way saying you shouldn’t communicate if it is important to do so, but if it is something small and there is no good outcome, and is not something that needs to be discussed or resolved together, sometimes it is just better to not even bring it up.
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