You Avoiding Me?

When couples stop talking to each other or they find ways to spend more and more time out of the house, working or being involved in community work, you can see that some major avoidance is going on.

There is amore subtle type of avoidance that we are all guilty of at times. It is avoiding dealing with our marital issues and avoiding the discomfort of resolving conflict. According to the Smart Marriage website “The number one predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict.”

When I was engaged a married friend told me tongue in cheek, “When you move into your new home together it’s important to buy a rug – that way you will have something to sweep your problems under!” We all do it but it’s a terrible idea, eventually the pile under the rug trips you up everywhere you move.

People don’t discuss issues because they feel that it is better to avoid yet another fight, or they are having a good couple of weeks and they don’t want to ruin it. Then they end up walking on egg shells, tip toeing around each other and never solve anything. To be successfully married the trick is NOT to avoid your issues but to deal with them.

Typically everyone at some time will have conflict about money or children. Other very common issues are in-laws, household chores,  recreational activities, sex,  communication and parenting.

Next time something happens that bothers or annoys you, or even triggers conflict, go through the following steps:

  1. ask yourself, “Is this really worth getting upset about?”
  2. what is the issue that is truly bothering me? Don’t get distracted by the details of what just happened.
  3. is their an underlying issue that is fueling these emotions? E.g not feeling loved, not feeling secure in the relationship, not being trusted or respected.
  4. suggest to your partner a time when you can sit down together to talk about it.
  5. work together as a team to find a solution that will work for both of you.

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