In the movie “Apollo 13”, these words were uttered and a worldwide catchphrase began: “Houston, We Have A Problem.”
One of the major issues that couples are facing these days is that we are “denying that there IS a problem.”
The first thing you learn before you can fix any problem or issue, is admitting to yourself that there indeed IS a problem.
Ignoring the problem won’t help the situation. Some might call that method; “Sweeping It Under The Rug.” When unresolved issues are swept under the rug, the rug becomes “lumpy” and soon you WILL trip over it.
It’s best to begin to acknowledge the problem together and seek to resolve it.
I have been guilty of this during our marriage. In past relationships, discussing problems SEEMED to just make matters worse. So, in an attempt to avoid long arguments, I believed that the issues would just GO AWAY. Trust me, the problems won’t go away.
Yvonne has helped me realize that addressing the issue(s) as a team WILL bring understanding, clarity and solutions CAN be found.
There seems to me that a lot of unhealthy relationships are grounded in extremes. They are either described as a full contact sport ( grounded in anger and arguing) or the don’t ask & don’t tell mentality. Let’s talk about the ” don’t ask/ don’t tell” mentality.
If you have ever expressed your emotions or feelings with your spouse and it’s been met with irritation, lack of desire to understand your point of view, lack of empathy or desire to mutually discuss and course correct or they themselves are now angry at you for bringing up an issue that has hurt your feelings or hurt your heart, then you are most likely not going to be forth coming with your heart in the future. The most common response that says to your spouse that you don’t care about the strength of your marriage or you don’t want to confront issues head-on is “why would you think or feel that?” OR “do we have to discuss this?”. You see women are going to continue to bring something up until they have been heard. We don’t necessarily want it fixed or even want you to agree with us. We just want to be “heard”. If if you’re continually shut down or not emotionally taken care of; you’re going to eventually stop sharing, stop caring and feelings of isolation and emotional walls begin to go up. I want to know Bryan loves me so much that he wants to know my heart at all times. I want to know he cares. I want to know he is in it for the long haul and doesn’t want anything to come between us. I want to know this everyday. I want our marriage to be his focus.
The most important part of addressing issues in your marriage head on is selflessness. The action of love that is concerned more with the emotional well being and needs of your spouse than your own. Is dealing with issues difficult? Yes. The point is to deal with them in a respectful manner so that you can grow stronger as a couple. If your continuing to deal with the same issues repeatedly, then this speaks loudly to whether or not you are truly concerned with your spouses heart and changing your own behavior to help conquer the issue.
1) Pray about the discussion first. It always seems to help when we pray for God to give us the opportunity to discuss an issue. We pray for the opportunity to discuss an issue and have it heard with the intent of our hearts.
2) Remember that you are addressing a behavior or issue and you are not defined as the issue. Don’t allow the behavior involved to cloud the way you see your spouse. This one issue doesn’t make up the sum of who they are or who you are as a couple.
3) Admitting and addressing the issue does NOT give you permission to mistreat or belittle your spouse. You have to set boundaries when having a discussion that has the potential to turn emotional. For example, you aren’t allowed to call the other person names. You aren’t allowed to yell ( be mindful that in your head it may not seem like yelling but to your spouse it may certainly feel like yelling).
4) Remember it’s about trying to look at the situation from your spouse’s point of view. You may not understand it… but accept it as their truth. That way you can address the actual issue. We all see things differently. You don’t have to make sense out of why they feel that way. All you have to do is accept that this is how they view an issue.
5) For the love of all things good in this world, do not bring other issues into the conversation. You don’t get to bring up things from last week, last month or last year. Deal with the issue at hand. If you have a grudge from previous arguments or hurts, then that needs addressed seperately. Do not view this as your chance to sling that mud all over again.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33
Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 25:24
Bryan & Yvonne Hutson
Rescue Me Ministries 2016
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