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Marriage Strengthening Tip #15: Do You Disagree, Argue, or Fight, Part 3

Marriage Strengthening Tip #15: Do You Disagree, Argue, or Fight, Part 3

Okay, let's be generous with ourselves and say that only about 75% of the time we start arguing with our spouse is the result of round # ___ of the blame game.  I have a feeling that the next biggest percentage of the time it starts as a result of simply advocating for something we want.  One spouse wants A and the other wants B, but both A and B cannot be had.  There is a great way to cut through much of that dilemna.  Distinguish between what you want and what you need.  When you do that for yourself and you figure out exactly what it is your are needing, you can then frame your choice of words accordingly.  When you figure out that your spouse is actually advocating for what they need more so than what they want, you can then proceed on the basis of "I would like to meet my spoues' need".  Then you are operating in an entirely different realm than each fighting for what you want!  

Christian psychologist Willard Harely counseled thousands of couples and, by following them up with research for many years, determined that the ones who made it long-term were the couples who focused simply on meeting their spouse's needs.  Brilliant!  But you have to: a) respectfully convey to your spouse what you need, and b) genuinely try to understand what it is your spouse is needing.  Stay tuned for Part 4!

Paul Spasic

Director,

Marriage Mentors