I thought that this picture was appropriate for my current situation. Recently my wife and I have realized that there are some things we disagree on. Disagreement is normal but a lack of communication can cause a disagreement to become a serious issue.
The doors of communication must be open at all times, not just when you are in an argument. It is then that the one time reasonable objection becomes more of an attack move. It is very important to understand that if you disagree with your spouse about something, it is ALWAYS better to voice your opinion. Remember that your spouse can not read your mind.
Your approach will either cause a disconnect or open the lines of communication. It is only then that anything will be resolved. If you introduce your case with love and respect it is likely your spouse will answer in the same manner. If you are in attack mode your spouse will first decide to defend instead of resolve.
Good listening practices are key to successful disagreements. Interrupting your spouse to make your point will only make your spouse feel like his/her voice is not being heard. In this case your spouse is probably right, you need to listen!! (emphasis added for my own benefit)
Offer more than one possible solution to whatever you are disagreeing about. Compromise is important but should not be used as a bullying tool. If your compromise is unreasonable then it is not really a compromise at all. One question you could ask is what are your common goals? Your solution should meet your common goals as well as satisfy you both.
Counseling should always be an option. It is sometimes easier to accept your faults from someone who remains neutral. It doesn’t mean you have failed, it means you want to succeed! Isn’t your marriage worth fighting for? I know mine is!
I am currently dealing with some disagreements on money with my wife. She is not good at speaking her mind and I am guilty of not listening when she tries. I am hardcore when it comes to budgeting and she wants some slack. We must find common ground and we are determined to do so!
Sometimes you can know what you need to do but not know how to do it. We decided to seek counseling to help us use the tools we already have, as well as learn some new ones. Sometimes money isn’t the cause of “money fights”! It is probably a marriage issue instead!
Well said, Brad! It’s definitely true that sometimes the stress of a money situation brings to the surface an underlying problem. And usually it’s a broken or just “not great” communication system that’s to blame. Almost two years later, I bet you and your wife have gotten it figured out…of course, you didn’t have Engaged Marriage as a resource back when you wrote this! 🙂