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Marriage: It’s a skill

Everyone has skills, things that they have learnt how to do. No one is born knowing how to whistle, flip pancakes, drive a car or even read emails. Skills are things that you have to learn and then practice to become good at.

Marriage is also a skill, it is not something that most people can figure out by themselves. Unfortunately it is a skill that hardly anyone takes the time to study and become proficient at, and maybe that is why we all know so many failed and failing marriages.

Several times a week I find myself in a “relationship situation” wishing there was an instruction manual that would tell me what to do or what to say. Or how about a live link-up to a marriage helpdesk (is that the beginning of a business idea!) to help perfect my marriage skills.

You are in one of those what-do-I-do-now situations and you choose wrong. The result is that you cause HURT. It is impossible to live with someone and not hurt them occasionally.

To be successful in your marriage you have to become an expert, a world class championship winning expert in the skill of HURT MANAGEMENT.

There are three vital steps.

First you have to recognize the signs of hurt in your partner. Typically in women this is anger expressed as nagging, criticism and put-downs. In men it usually expressed more passively as withdrawal, silence or by creating an emotional distance.

Secondly you have to take RESPONSIBILITY for causing the hurt, by apologizing for your actions, committing to not doing it again and asking for forgiveness.

Thirdly the wounded partner has to start the process of forgiving. This means letting go and not holding a grudge and giving up the desire to get even.

Keep practicing you are going to be great.

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