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Accepting Your Differences to Save Your Marriage

Page history last edited by greensael 4 years, 8 months ago

You may have heard the phrase "a problem cannot be solved with the same mind that created it". Arguing and disagreements occur naturally among married couples, unmarried couples, family members, coworkers, and complete strangers. We are individuals, unique and free to express our thoughts and feelings in any way we see fit. Each of us will have a different approach when assessing a problem. With regard to marriage, couples will tend to become emotionally charged - and argue, defend and assert themselves - leading to biased and unreasonable assumptions. Regardless of differences, resolving an issue first involves learning how the tension began, without jumping to useless and baseless conclusions.


Couples tend to rely on these conclusions and justify making accusations, and assumptions - which then come out in the form of anger, resentment, hostility, tension and distrust - both directly and indirectly. When faced with verbal attacks or verbal abuse, our first response is to act in self-defense. Personal well-being has been threatened; and having to react defensively is unpleasant and justifies very bitter and hurtful language. This is the setting, or tone in which we have chosen to relate to each other. In this scenario, the tone of anger and tension will only create more animosity, disrespect, defensive language and behavior. Using this tone in attempting to communicate and resolve issues will eventually escalate into isolation or even separation from one another.


The tone has been reset, and respect for one another has deteriorated. While anger and hostility are the only mode of communication, defensive behavior and abusive language become the expected reaction. The ability to discuss feelings and concerns regarding personal needs has become severely impaired, the result being total corruption and the sense of defeat. The question of how to save marriage has become buried in the tendency to focus on the battle, instead of seeing the war. We tend to become immersed in the moment, ignoring the irrelevance of it all, and unintentionally overlook it's insignificance in the big picture.


Having now shut themselves out from making any significant progress, they have compromised all integrity, sincerity and honesty. The foundation for any constructive or useful insight has been reduced to pointless observation. The ability to express the desire to save marriage has become subtle, irrelevant, or even unobtainable. The task of repairing this primitive language will require basic modification of behaviors that facilitate development of truly functional communication.


One of you has to take the initiative and clearly recognize that in order for the relationship to stand any chance of recovery, you first have to change the way you communicate. Volunteer yourself to be the first to admit that you both must agree to have a discussion at a time when you can engage basic issues in a relaxed, gentle, and productive manner. Step outside of your defensive routine and leave all the drama and conviction out of the arena. Recommend that your partner be the first to vent all that he or she feels and needs to be said - without all the expected negative reactions of anger, disapproval, disappointment, vengeance and so on. Make it clear that your marriage is worthy of whatever it takes to again represent the bond you share, the expression of love you have for one another, the pride you feel together, and the potential to overcome differences that are pulling you apart. Consider your differences calmly, honestly and clearly, and re-evaluate previous criticisms in a new perspective. Propose that these attributes are actually assets - and can be recognized and accepted, rather than ridiculed and rejected.


If you find that you have even moderate success, you are well on your way to resetting the tone to a more effective and functional level in which you will re-enable natural communication. You alone, can make use of the tools to reopen the channels for trust and meaningful conversation again. You will find that it is pleasing and rewarding in acknowledging the qualities you share in common, as well as your values, which continue to expand and evolve as you have yourselves. You may realize that you admire your differences - as you did when you met. In other words, you are accepting each other for who you are - and especially for who you are not.


Obstacles which once threatened your marriage can become opportunities that can save your marriage, and enhance experience as you grow and mature in your experience together. Consider the absurdity that you may actually have fun, but be sure to draw the line at the first sign of laughter. Perhaps this illustrates what is meant - by "solving a problem with a different mind than the one that created it" - through simple awareness of the tone in which you relate to one another.






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