A Crucial Marriage Saving Tip
By Larry Bilotta
Do you find that things would just be so much easier if your spouse would do things your way? Most of the time, this just isn't the case. So you married your complete opposite, your relationship is stressful, and the two of you can't even agree on what to have for dinner. Does this mean that for the rest of your life, you are subject to the painful battle of fighting over "your way vs. his/her way" unless one of you gives in? No! There is no need to argue over "who does what which way." And most importantly, neither of you need to change who you are.
You're about to learn the single most important marriage saving tip that can drastically lower your stress with your spouse. If you understand what you and your spouse value in life, you can cut your relationship stress in half! (Like I did with my wife! It's true. I developed this marriage saving tip after using it to transform my own marriage. My 32 year marriage is proof that this marriage saving tip can work for your marriage!) Okay, let's get started...
The first thing you need to do is talk with your spouse about the things you passionately believe in - or feel strongly against. You can start by discussing the little things in life that bug you (and no, I'm NOT talking about your spouse!) Let me give you an example... My wife absolutely HATES gum chewing. Now I'm not talking about people who silently chew their gum with their mouths closed, I'm talking about people who, when they pop a piece of gum in their mouth, everyone knows it.
They pop their gum, smack and chew with their mouths wide open. Yes, I know it sounds trivial, but it absolutely drives her nuts. Now, if I didn't know WHY this little pet peeve of hers drives her "up the wall," I would simply think she's crazy. I might even start becoming annoyed and aggravated whenever she starts to verbally attack the nearest "irritating gum chewer."
Now here's the part of this marriage saving tip that most people are not aware of... every one of your pet peeves, habits or beliefs are created by a memory or event from the past. Take my wife for example. The reason she despises people who pop and crack their gum is because her mother would do it without any regard for her feelings throughout her entire childhood. My wife hated it then and she still hates gum chewing today. It simply brings back too many painful memories. To her, a gum chewer might as well be scratching nails on a chalkboard or screeching a fork against a plate.
The main idea you should walk away with from this marriage saving tip is that you need to discuss with your spouse WHY you do things a certain way, WHY you hate certain things and WHY you love other things. Be sure to talk about the "problem areas" in your marriage. That is the point of this discussion after all. Give your spouse your perspective on "hot topics" in your marriage which could be anything from punctuality, family values, religion, eating habits or even personal privacy. Ask your spouse questions and have them do the same. Ask questions like:
- "Honey, when you were young, did your mother or father have a problem being on time?"
- "What happened in your childhood that makes you hate clutter and messes so much?"
WARNING: Don't make this sound like an accusation! If you do, your positive discussion will be over! When you ask your spouse these questions, s/he will probably struggle for words or not come up with an immediate explanation for WHY he or she does these things. And that's okay. Try to jog his/her memory by recalling your own memories about this subject. For example:
"The reason I __ (fill in the blank) is because my parents __ (fill in the blank) when I was a child?"
Remember: you and your spouse were shown how to live by your parents or guardians. They shaped most of what you value and believe in today. The point of this discussion is to understand WHY the two of you disagree on any given topic. This will help the two of you accept each other because you'll no longer feel threatened by your very different values in life.
So there you have it. Use this marriage saving tip to get to the source of your problems instead of focusing on the "little issues" (like gum chewing). If you don't know which values are causing conflict in your marriage, you'll never be able to truly resolve your disagreements.
When I finally understood WHY my wife's values were so different from my own, the stress in my marriage was drastically reduced. I know you'll find the same to be true when you put this marriage saving tip to use in your own marriage.
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