Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Cycle Continues

Mort Fertel
As many of you know I quote Mort Fertel regularly because his advice is usually spot on except for the fact that it is missing a Christian filter. In one of his recent blogs (www.themarriagecounselingblog.com) he addresses the fact that often there are patterns to our arguments. He goes on to say in part:

Many couples report that most of their arguments are about the same things over and over. These sorts of arguments often don’t ever get resolved and the same subject keeps coming up. It is important to take a look at your arguments to see what patterns you notice.

Emerson Eggrich's
Crazy Cycle
Where do most of your arguments happen? (when the bread winner comes home from work, etc.) …Also look at the timing of your arguments. When do most of your arguments occur? (Getting the family ready to go to church, etc.).

What do most of your arguments seem to be about? Perhaps you argue the most about the way your spouse treats you. Or maybe you argue about money or the kids. Do most of your disagreements center around your behaviors or your spouse’s behaviors? How do these arguments usually start?

Identifying patterns to your conflict can help you learn how to address unresolved issues. Perhaps you discover that you tend to argue most when you are feeling stressed about other things. It may help you to recognize the importance of finding healthy stress management techniques so that you don’t take it out on your spouse.

Once you identify patterns to your conflict, discuss strategies to help prevent unnecessary conflict. All conflict shouldn’t be avoided. However, the arguments that are ongoing and never seem to get resolved can be counter-productive to a healthy relationship.”
Mort’s suggestions could provide some important insight. However regardless of when you argue most, where the arguments most frequently occur and what you most often continue to argue about the real problem is a heart issue. James 4:1-2 basically tells us we argue because we don’t get our own way. That is what you need to uncover. Ask yourself why you feel as strongly as you do about a particular situation or topic. IF you are able to trace the derivation from whence your opinion flows it may be the beginning of a healing process. Obviously there wouldn’t be an argument if your spouse didn’t also have something driving their adversarial opinion. By uncovering both you might be better able to really understand the issue and arrive at a solution that would satisfy both.

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