Does Talking About a Problem Always Solve It?

Jim and Mary (above) have been married for three years. Like all couples, they have numerous issues that they don't seem able to resolve. They label their main problem as "communication," yet the more they talk about some issues the worse things seem to get. That is because most of their communication involves each trying to convince the other of their point of view with the goal of trying to get the other to change theirs.

Their inability to change the other leads to frustation, and then to a long discussion of how incompatible they are. Mary thinks they are more incompatible than Jim does, so this leads to a second wave of arguing and conflict. After several hours, both give up and simply walk away from each other, both with bad feelings and a sense of frustraion and emotional detachment.

Fact is, there are some topcis that couples should probably avoid discussing with each other because they will never see things eye to eye. That is OK. Contrary to popular opinion, partners DO NOT have to be 100% in agreement on all issues in order to have a good marriage. What they DO have to have is a tolerance for how the other thinks, even if it is quite different from how you think or see things.

Once couples reach this level of maturity and understanding, they simply stop bringing up topics that they know will lead to arguments and conflict. Why keep rubbing salt in old wounds? If you must discuss the difficult topic for some reason, it often helps to preface the discussion with ackowledgement that you know your partner sees it differently, but......(then speak your point of view). At least acknowledging the difference of opinion often takes some of the sting out of the difference. 





clock September 8, 2011 00:40 by author Dr Tony Fiore